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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space…

Angus & The Mearns

Loons Ale gives Forfar FC fans new excuse to be stationed at the bar

March 19 2011

It may not be the ideal training elixir but a Forfar Athletic fan hopes he has been able to tap into a brew which may yet be a toast for a successful Station Park season. Local publican Ian Whyte has launched Loons Ale and brought it to the bar of his Vine and Monkey premises in West High Street, Forfar. The amber ale has already been given the seal of approval by past and present Loons heroes. Ian’s dream has taken months to realise, but after mooting the idea to small brewers, receiving club support, tasting a number of possible contenders and negotiating a purchase price, the Loons Ale from Inveralmond Brewery of Perth is now in town. “The beer is a 4.2% ABV amber ale and was sampled for the first time by a few fans, players past and present and members of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale),” said Ian. Loons record goal scorer John Clark joined current stars Dale Hilson, Bryan Deasley and Martyn Fotheringham in sampling the beer. “The upshot of it all is that 40 pence of every pint sold goes to Forfar Athletic, so hopefully everybody benefits,” said Ian.

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km

Angus & The Mearns

Record roll for Angus sports awards

February 14 2015

A record-breaking Roll of Honour will line up in the chase for glory at the 2014 Angus Sports Awards. From a year which saw the area takes its place in the global spotlight as the shooting venue for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Angus Sports Development Team has secured a 105-strong list of nominees across the competition’s eight categories. Glasgow 2014 bowling gold medallist and former Angus Sports Personality Sports Personality of the Year Darren Burnett will be one of the front runners in the field and he said Angus had enjoyed another year with plenty to shout about. Launching the Roll of Honour with Angus provost helen Oswald, the bowling bobby said: “The Angus Sports Awards are a special night which allow the local sporting community to come together to celebrate the achievements in the county. “I have always enjoyed the ceremony evening and have been blown away with the range of local talent we have in Angus and the amount of people who give up their own time to help run sports clubs.” This year’s honour roll takes in everything from fly-fishing to powerwheelchair football and includes sportpeople and coaches who have tasted success all the way to world level. One of the most hotly-contested categories will be the school sports volunteer of the year award, where no fewer than 30 nominees will battle for the accolade recognising the contribution made to extra-curricular sport in 2014. The awards ceremony, in association with Angus Ahead, will take place at Forfar’s Reid Hall on Thursday March 12. The awards selection panel will now finalise short lists and winners for each award category. Roll of honour: Sports Personality of the Year (sponsored by Auchterhouse Country Sports): Charles Clark, cricket; Lynn Calder, boxing; Gillian Sangster, running; Andrew Woodroffe, triathlon; Darren Burnett, lawn bowls; Michael Downie, athletics; Drew Christie, clay target shooting; Ryan Burnett, lawn bowls; Robyn Hart-Winks, rowing; Kathleen Shepherd, fly-fishing; Katie Phillips, swimming. Young Sports Personality of the Year (sponsored by Radio Tay Cash for Kids): Matthew Crighton, water polo; Rachel Broadfoot,athletics; Jessica Baillie, highland dancing; Heather Wilson, mountain biking; Olivia Waddell, highland dancing; Andrew Liddell, karate; Cara Black, basketball; Ellie Callon, basketball; Taylor Smith, basketball; Kelsey McFarlane, basketball; Sarah McKenzie, gymnastics; Rebecca Graham, darts; Curtis Hirst, archery; Joel McFarlane, athletics; Gregor Stevenson, archery; Hamish Brunton, sailing; James Wilson, mountain biking; Brennan Somers, air rifle shooting; Hannah Robb, basketball; Niamh Feighan, athletics; Anna Sturrock, sailing; Sophie Smith, swimming. Coach of the Year sponsored by KLM partnership chartered surveyors: Colin Gillan, football; Lynsey Stewart, badminton; Garry Johnstone, powerwheelchair football; Colin Christie, athletics; Liz Martin, athletics; Scott Nicoll, football; Connor Blackmore, rugby; Iain Lyons, lawn bowls; Kim Dalgarno, ten pin bowling; Kevin Scott, karate; Gary Porter, powerlifting; Scott Haxton, swimming. Team of the Year (sponsored by Angus Community Sports Hubs): Brechin Bruce Rugby Team, Tayside Dynamos Powerwheelchair Football Club, Tayside Musketeers Basketball Club – Junior Women Team, Monifieth High School – S2 Giant Heptathlon School Sport Volunteer of the Year (sponsored by Angus Council Active Schools): Andrew McLaren, Ron MacDonald, both Monifieth / Carnoustie cluster; Caroline Kerr, Strathmore PS; James Paton-Carstairs, Woodlands PS; Lorraine Murray, Lochside PS; Brian Johnston, David Nicholson, both Arbroath primary cluster; Ashlea MacDonald, Muirfield PS; Jill Cassidy, Christopher Heenan, both Timmergreens PS; Bob Donnan, Scott Chalmers, both Warddykes PS; Stuart Donaldson, Jackie Barrack, botht St Thomas PS; Lisa Newlands, Warddykes PS; Kimberly Walker, Arbroath cluster; Lorna Small, Sarah Warden, Kerry Wilson, Val Wilson, all Arbroath High; Pauline Gibb, Paul Harrison, both Forfar Academy; Laura Sturrock, Monifieth High; Denise Buchan, Hayshead PS; Marian Morison, Lesley Geekie, David Robertson, Donnie Smith, all Friockheim PS; Bob Christie, Maisondieu and Andover primary schools; Derek Mitchell, Brechin schools. Sports Personality of the Year Award for People with a Disability (sponsored by Angus Disability Sport in partnership with National Oilwell Varco): Kevin Trebilcock, badminton; Maria Orsi, swimming; Kerry Duncan, badminton; George Gibson, table tennis; Murran MacKay, wheelchair basketball; Stephanie Carnegie, athletics; Linda Glen, boccia. Service to Sport Award sponsored by Dundee & Angus College: Roy Gill, football; Derek Nisbet, swimming; Laura Smith, disability sport; Andy Robbie, football; Jim Keillor, curling; Muriel Blake, athletics; Eddie Wilmott, swimming; Diane Reid, gymnastics. Club Volunteer of the Year Award sponsored by Special Olympics Great Britain): Robert Cassidy, boccia; Helen Bean, disability sport; Dorothea Jackson, rugby; Martin Cassidy, boccia; Grant Hutchison, cricket; Colin Tinsley, rugby; Andrew McLaren, golf; Heather Reid, disability sport; Murray Duguid, rugby; Bob Bell, wheeled sports; Pierre Bernard, swimming.

Scottish League 2

Forfar 3 Clyde 0: All to play for in title push

April 24 2017

Six points to play for. Two games to go. One point the difference at the top of the table. Those are the stats that matter in the tightest of run-ins to decide the League Two title as Forfar Athletic and Arbroath returned to winning ways to screw up the pressure on each other. Forfar looked far more like the side that have led from the front for almost the entire season as they clinically brushed aside a Clyde side that had been tipped to be a real banana skin. Having controversially brought in David Goodwillie, who bagged a hat-trick in his first game, the Bully Wee were looking to ease their own play-off fears. But Forfar’s defence superbly marshalled the former Dundee United, Aberdeen and Blackburn striker to nullify his threat with ease. Manager Gary Bollan said: “After the early season form I think we showed today that we have proved to any doubters we have still got that. We are still up for the fight and the challenge. “I think some of the individual performances and our play was impressive today. I think from start to finish we dominated the game. We kept quiet players we knew we had to, the likes of David Goodwillie because of the level he has played at and I think he was marshalled extremely well by Tam O’Brien and Michael Travis. “But throughout the team I don’t think there was a failure. They all played to a very high standard, the standards that we expect of them that we perhaps have not been reaching in recent weeks. We have got to maintain that.” Forfar started on the offensive and twice Lewis Milne had shots before David Cox set up Gavin Swankie for a chance but he failed to take the shot. Danny Denholm had a great chance on the quarter-hour mark when Swankie picked him out at the back post but he skied his header high over the bar. Denholm did far better in the 21st minute when he found the target with a bullet header from the corner of the six-yard box after Jim Lister broke free on the right and sent over a perfect cross. Forfar doubled their advantage six minutes into the second half when Cox forced the ball home from close range despite a brave scramble on the line by keeper Kyle Gourlay. Swankie came lose to adding a third on the hour mark but he curled his shot just over the bar. Chris McLaughlin smashed a shot off the foot of the Clyde post as the home side continued their second half dominance. And that pressure further paid off in the 78th minute as Tam O’Brien headed home a Swankie corner at the far post to wrap up the points.

UK & World

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.

IOC widens Sochi probe as women’s ice hockey team joins Russian roll of shame

December 12 2017

The women’s ice hockey squad is the latest Russian team to be disqualified from the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi for doping, the International Olympic Committee has announced. Six of the 21-woman squad – Inna Dyubanok, Ekaterina Lebedeva, Ekaterina Pashkevich, Anna Shibanova, Galina Skiba and Ekaterina Smolentseva – have been sanctioned for taking part in an elaborate sample-swapping conspiracy, with a case against a seventh, undisclosed athlete closed because of insufficient evidence. These decisions have been reached by one of the two disciplinary commissions set up by the IOC last year to investigate claims Russia conducted a state-sponsored doping programme between 2011 and 2015. Led by IOC member Denis Oswald, this commission is focusing on individual athletes and has now disqualified and banned for life 31 Sochi Olympians from Russia, with two cleared. IOC sanctions six Russian athletes and closes one case as part of Oswald Commission findings https://t.co/NKv8cmMJfG— IOC MEDIA (@iocmedia) December 12, 2017 In a statement, the IOC said there are also 13 cases still ongoing and “it cannot be excluded that there might be new elements that would justify opening further new cases”. So far, Russian athletes have lost 11 Sochi medals, including four golds. The Russian women’s ice hockey team won its first three games in Sochi, but was then handed a shock defeat by Switzerland in the quarter-finals before losing the fifth-place play-off to Finland. Russian whistle-blower Dr Grigory Rodchenkov, the ex-director of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, has told investigators that the women’s ice hockey team was a late addition to his state-sponsored doping programme, forcing him to combine stored samples of ‘clean’ urine when he was replacing the contents of opened sample bottles in Sochi. This is why the re-analysed samples of two female Russian ice hockey players were found to contain urine from more than one athlete in an earlier investigation on behalf of the World Anti-Doping Agency. The Bolshoy Ice Dome, venue for the Olympic ice hockey in 2014 (David Davies/PA) Ranked fourth in the world, Russia have qualified for February’s Winter Games in Pyeongchang and have today confirmed their intention to compete as neutral athletes. This follows the IOC decision last week to suspend the Russian Olympic Committee and allow only invited athletes to compete in South Korea as ‘Olympic Athletes from Russia’, in uniforms bearing the OAR acronym. There will also be no Russian anthems or flags during the opening or medal ceremonies but Russia’s suspension is likely to be lifted to allow the team to take part in the closing ceremony as normal – a compromise that has led some anti-doping experts to claim Russia has got away lightly for its flagrant cheating. (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Matt Slater, Press Association Chief Sports Reporter'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'd43e9e59-340c-432c-adc8-e9ede37e8460'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', null); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'IOC widens Sochi probe as womenu2019s ice hockey team joins Russian roll of shame'});

Angus & The Mearns

Meffan exhibition tells the story of Angus and the Great War

September 10 2014

The outbreak of the First World War and its effect in Angus is being marked in a new exhibition in Forfar. The exhibition uses iconic objects, artworks, poetry and slideshows to tell the history of life in the trenches, The Black Watch and of local recipients of the Victoria Cross. Visitors to the Meffan Museum and Art Gallery can also view a selection of war drawings by Sir Muirhead Bone, who was appointed Britain’s first official war artist in 1916. Photos by Kim Cessford.

Motoring news

Join the queue for littlest Audi Q

November 9 2016

Audi’s relentless release of new models continues with the launch of its smallest SUV. The Q2 goes on sale in the UK next week with prices starting at £22,380. There’s an extensive selection of petrol and diesel power trains as well as the option of front or Quattro four-wheel drive. More models will be added to the range later on, including powerful SQ2 and RSQ2 versions. Aimed squarely at a younger audience, the Q2 has bolder, sharper lines and a different shape to Audi’s bigger SUVs, the Q3, Q5 and Q7. Although it’s clearly meant more for buzzing around cities than growling across farmland, cladding and skid plates lend it an aura of ruggedness. Audi is also offering a range of vibrant colours to deepen the Q2’s appeal to youthful buyers. The interior is as plush as you’d expect from Audi, justifying its price hike over similarly sized SUVs like the Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V. The materials are high quality – softtouch plastics, leather on higher spec cars and brushed aluminium trim elements all blended into a smart-looking package. As standard, drivers get a seven-inch infotainment screen on top of the dashboard. It’s operated through Audi’s rotary dial system that’s far more intuitive and easier to use when on the move than rivals’ touchscreen systems. Among the many options is Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit – a 12.3in screen that replaces the manual instruments behind the steering wheel. Overall, the Q2 is 4.7in shorter than the A3 hatchback, but Audi says there’s enough leg and headroom for two adult passengers in the back. Boot space comes in at 405 litres – 50 more than you’ll find in the A3 hatchback and rival Nissan Juke, although it trails the Mini Countryman by the same amount. To begin with, the only diesel option is a 1.6 litre with 114bhp, although a more powerful 184bhp 2.0 litre unit will be added to the range soon. Similarly, the petrol engine range is limited for now but will be expanded by the end of the year. The 1.4 litre, 148bhp unit offered now will be joined by 1.0 litre, 114bhp three cylinder turbo and 2.0 litre, 187bhp options – the latter coming with an S-Tronic automatic gearbox. When it arrives the 1.0 litre petrol version will be the cheapest model in the range with a price tag of £20,230. Courier Motoring has yet to get its hands on the car but early reviews have been very positive and Audi looks to have yet another winner on its hands. jmckeown@thecourier.co.uk

Scottish Challenge Cup

Forfar chairman relieved The New Saints game is at home

September 7 2016

Chairman Alastair Donald is thrilled that Forfar Athletic will experience a club first when Welsh Premier League champions The New Saints arrive at Station Park in the IRN-BRU Cup. But he admitted to a bit of relief that the fourth round draw didn’t hand them a trip in the other direction. Forfar v TNS was one of the eye-catching ties in the revamped competition, which welcomes two Northern Irish and two Welsh teams into it for the last 16. Dundee United avoided a trip to Ireland, but only just. The Tangerines were handed an away game against Stranraer. And there will be nothing ground-breaking about Dunfermline’s home game against Queen’s Park. For Forfar though, this is indeed new territory. “I’m fairly certain a Welsh team hasn’t come to Forfar before,” Donald said. “Certainly not in a competitive match. “People have been critical of the new format of the IRN-BRU Cup but if the reaction on social media and the number of calls I’ve had is anything to go by, this has got people talking. “It’s the most attention the competition has got, apart from maybe when Rangers were in it for the first time.” He added: “If it had been the other way around it would have cost us money. “I did a back of a fag packet calculation and it came to about £8,000 to do things properly, and we would have got £4,000 travel costs from the SPFL. “We’ll look forward to welcoming The New Saints to Station Park.” TNS – a full-time team – are top of the Welsh Premier League, with five wins out of five, but Forfar are on a high just now as well. “We’ve won six games in a row,” Donald said. “And not many people would have thought we would have beaten Raith Rovers in the last round. “No disrespect to the competition, but we’re just concentrating on getting three points at Annan on Saturday. We won’t be thinking about The New Saints until the week of the game.” Donald isn’t getting carried away with Forfar’s opening to the season, as last year proved that flying starts can count for little. “It’s just a start and we need to build on it,” he pointed out. “But we’re happy with the squad Gary Bollan has assembled and I think it’s one that would have survived in League One last year.” The full IRN-BRU Cup draw is – Bala Town v Alloa Athletic Forfar Athletic v New Saints Crusaders v Livingston Queen of the South v Livingston Hibs v St Mirren Dunfermline v Queen’s Park Ayr United v Falkirk Stranraer v Dundee United The ties are due to be played on the weekend of October 8/9.

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