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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...

Dundee FC

Birmingham boss Harry Redknapp reveals Dundee made bid to take Greg Stewart back on loan

June 16 2017

Birmingham boss Harry Redknapp has revealed that Dundee made an attempt to bring Greg Stewart back to the City of Discovery but could not afford the player’s wages. The former Dens favourite was snapped up by the English side last summer but has struggled to make an impact at St Andrew’s. Dundee along with other Scottish clubs are keen to bring the 27-year-old back north but finances have proved to be the stumbling block. Redknapp said: “Clubs have asked for Greg — Aberdeen, Motherwell and Dundee. “It’s only a loan for the season that I’ve been asked about. “But Greg’s wages at Birmingham are too high for the Scottish clubs, even the percentage that we’d be looking for. “So for now he’s not going anywhere, although I’m sure there are clubs in England who would take Greg for a year on his current wages.” However, Redknapp admitted that Stewart’s future may still lie at Birmingham. The veteran manager added: “I liked what I saw of Greg last season, although I was only in the job for a couple of weeks. “He was on the bench for me and he is a great lad with good ability. “I’ll look at him closely during pre-season then we’ll see what happens.”

Dundee FC

Greg Stewart’s selfishness rewarded at Killie

November 3 2014

Dundee’s incredible third goal at Kilmarnock on Saturday would not have happened had scorer Greg Stewart listened to his teammates. The brilliant 80-yard run from the former Cowdenbeath man in the fourth minute of added-on time was old school and brought back memories of the playground. It was head down, sprint as fast as you can stuff from Stewart, which thrilled every one of the fans who had travelled all the way down to Rugby Park to cheer the Dark Blues on to a 3-1 win. It rounded off a great away day for Paul Hartley’s team and the strike also pushed them into the top six of the Premiership, just sneaking ahead of Aberdeen, who play Ross County tonight, on goal difference. The drama all started up at the other end of the park with just seconds of stoppage-time left in the game. Dundee were leading 2-1 and hanging on, while Killie were pushing desperately for an equaliser and won a corner. Kilmarnock keeper Craig Samson had raced up the park to join the attack but was left stranded when the ball was cleared out of the visitors’ box by Dundee sub Kevin Thomson and reached Stewart. The striker then set off and must have caught sight of Samson’s bright red strip out of the corner of his eye as he neared the halfway line for the goalie had chosen to challenge Stewart rather than race straight back to his goal. It would turn out to be the wrong decision as Stewart chipped the ball past him and kept going all the way into the Killie box. With Samson AWOL the net was unguarded and Stewart looked certain to score until home midfielder Jamie Hamill appeared from nowhere to stick out a leg and hook the ball off the line. The Dundee man kept his cool, however, and pounced on the rebound, curled his shot home to make it fabulous finale in the Ayrshire rain. However, as fellow frontman David Clarkson revealed, it could have been so different had Stewart taken advice from his colleagues. “I wasn’t too confident that he would make it all the way up the park so I was screaming at Greg to go down because there were a few challenges on him,” said Clarkson. “There were also a few boys shouting for him to square it when he got into the box but lucky for him he managed to put it away. “It was great for Greg. He is a young lad and I didn’t know him before I came here. “The boys told me he was playing part-time and it’s hard to make the adjustment. You can see, though, that he is willing to listen and learn. “Getting a couple of goals will be great for his confidence and if he keeps working hard I’ve got no doubt he can become a great player for the club.”

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

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.

Dundee FC

James McPake agrees new Dundee deal

January 30 2015

Dundee manager Paul Hartley believes the new contract for James McPake is an example of the club’s ambition to compete in the Premiership. The central defender has agreed a deal to keep him at Dens Park until the end of the 2016-17 season. That news was welcomed by Hartley as an endorsement of what the Dark Blues have been trying to achieve after returning to the top flight last summer. James’ contract deal came hot on the heels of striker Greg Stewart’s decision to extend his deal and Hartley said: “I’m delighted that James has agreed to extend his contract. “He’s a huge asset for the side and he’s shown this season how good he is. “Having players like Jazza (McPake) and Greg (Stewart) sign up is a signal of what we are doing at the club. “We are building a side that can be competitive in the top flight for many years to come.” Managing director John Nelms added: “We are very pleased that James McPake has inked an extension to his contract that will see him as a Dee through the 2016/17 season. “James has proven himself to be a consummate professional and a leader whom all of his colleagues can follow.”

Dundee FC

Stopping Dundee’s Greg Stewart easier said than done

September 14 2015

Greg Stewart’s got one of the best left foots in Scotland. And his right isn’t too shabby either. But, according to team-mate Kane Hemmings, one of the most important body parts of Dundee’s matchwinner over Partick Thistle is his backside! Stewart’s cut inside from the right and curl the left foot shot into the far corner has become his trademark finish. He was at it again at Firhill to break the hearts of winless Thistle with little more than 10 minutes to go. Stewart has long since ceased to be an unknown quantity in the top flight, so It begs the question - why do defenders not show the former Cowdenbeath man on to his right foot? The player who knows him best from their days together at Central Park says that’s easier said than done. And even if you manage it, the result could be the same. “It’s hard to get him off the ball,” Hemmings said. “I’ve tried to do it. “He’s got a big bum! Listen, you can show him on to his right and he’ll still be able to jink it back to his left. “Or you can show him on his left and he’ll take it to his right. Greg’s that type of player. “He’s a confident player and he can hurt you on his right or his left. It’s tough for defenders. They don’t know what he’s going to do. “Since I’ve known Greg he’s always had a cultured left foot and a pass finish. Obviously he’s worked on it with the gaffer but he’s always been capable of doing it. He’s a fantastic player, and if he runs at you, that’s the sort of thing he can do.” Stewart was deservedly the headline-grabber for the Dark Blues, as it was his moment of class that settled the match in their favour. But Hemmings insisted that the victory was very much a team one. “We’re delighted with that win,” he said. “To a man, everyone worked their socks off. “They were unfortunate not to get a couple of goals. But we took our chance and then held on. Overall I thought we got up the pitch and counter-attacked well when we got the chance. “Everyone dug in. To get a clean sheet is nice as well. “Our season has been a bit stop-start. That win will have moved us up the table and we’d probably take the position we’re in now if you’d offered us it at the start of the season. “It’s a decent start but we can get better and kick on.” Thistle, now joint bottom of the table, will feel as if the world’s against them after hitting the woodwork three times an overhead kick from Kris Doolan, a shot from Ryan Stevenson and a header from the same man. And there was also a close-range chance squandered by Robbie Muirhead. But, despite conceding more territory and chances to Thistle than Paul Hartley would have been comfortable with, Dundee had a few near misses of their own. Gary Irvine had one shot from distance and another from point blank range that were well saved by Tomas Cerny, Nick Ross was wasteful after being gifted a chance by the home defence, and Stewart passed up a great one-on-one when they were 1-0 up. Hartley reflected: “In the first half we didn’t pass it well and the intensity in our play wasn’t there. “We were much better second half. Don’t get me wrong, we rode our luck at times but overall I’m delighted with the points and the clean sheet. “I said to the players that you can’t play well every week. It’s all about winning. Win at all costs.” James McPake was substituted midway through the first half, with Hartley reporting it was as a result of a hip injury. He noted: “We didn’t want to take any chances. It was too sore. We’ve got a lot of games coming up and didn’t want to take the risk.” The Dens Park boss was pleased with the half-hour contribution of on-loan Aston Villa youngster Riccardo Calder. Hartley said: “He’s positive, he’s quick. In the 10 days he’s been with us he’s been really good. “He’s had a look at games on DVD to try and get a feel for the tempo of the game up here, because you don’t get a lot of time. I thought it was a good debut from him.” Looking at the league table and the blank in the W column for Thistle, you’d think Saturday might have been the story of their season so far. But Doolan feels there has been a change. He explained: “In the last few games we’ve not created those kind of chances. It’s fine margins. Hitting the woodwork three times in a game doesn’t happen very often. “It’s difficult to take when you see other teams around you picking up points but we’ll pick ourselves up and go again.”

Dundee FC

Greg Stewart move to Birmingham still on as clubs agree £500,000 fee

August 10 2016

Greg Stewart’s move to Birmingham City remains is still on, despite reports claiming that the player himself had pulled the plug on the deal. It is understood that Dundee and Birmingham have agreed a fee of £500,000 plus add-ons for the playmaker. Stewart looks set to travel south in the next 48 hours to put pen to paper on a long-term deal at the English Championship outfit. It had been suggested that Stewart had indicated that didn’t want to go to the Midlands side and the transfer was now off. However, sources close to the player have insisted he is still talking and is likely to end up at City.

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

Angus & The Mearns

Angus Alive Sports Awards nominations announced

January 16 2018

The quest has kicked off to find the top achievers in sport in Angus over the past 12 months. A selection panel will convene this week to decide the Angus Alive Sports Awards shortlist from 71 nominations which have been announced for individuals, clubs and teams. Martial artist Catriona Steele, the Edzell mum of four who took two golds at the TaeKwon-Do world cup, won last year’s Sports Personality of the Year award while track star Eilish McColgan received an Olympic Recognition award. Lisa Houston, sports development officer from Angus Alive, said: “The nomination process for the Angus Alive Sports Awards 2017 closed on Monday January 8, with a fantastic 71 individuals, teams, and clubs nominated. “The independent selection panel will convene this week to decide the shortlist and winners for each of the nine award categories.” The list of nominees for the ANGUSalive Sports Awards 2017 are: Club Volunteer of the Year Award Jonathan Christie, Georgie Fullerton, Adam Mackie, Claire Murray, Gary Robertson, Mike Talbot, Mia White Coach of the Year Scott Haxton, Jim Keillor, Tam Mill, Stephen Plomer, Kay Rudd, Jim Stewart, Julie Thomson, Dan Woods Outstanding Commitment Award Bob Baldie, Richard Heggie, David McNairn, Pam Thomson Sports Personality of the Year Mark Hopkins, Andrew Woodroffe Sports Personality of the Year Award for People with a Disability Oliver Bernard, David Burnett, Greg Clark, Liam Davies, Bill Fairweather, Jamie Fyfe, Beth Greig, Eddie Hagerty, Gemma Lumsdaine, Maria Orsi, William Pate, Paul Radunski, Liam Sutherland School Sports Volunteer of the Year Award Kerry Craig, Stuart Gallagher, Caroline Kerr, Ashlea MacDonald, Suzanne Reid. Amanda Stewart, Stewart Ferguson, Kimberly Walker Young Sports Personality of the Year Matthew Crighton, Laura Findlay, Neve Guthrie, Niamh Harper, Ben Hudson, Oran McCafferty, Zoe Rennie, Rosie Kinloch Simpson, Darryl Sinclair, Sophie Smith, Jude Steven, Mia White, James Wilson Club of the Year Arbroath Community Sports Club, Arbroath Gymnastics Club, Arbroath Shotokan Karate Club, Arbroath St Thomas Swimming Club, Brechin Beavers Swimming Club, Kanzen Karate, Monifieth Athletic Football Club, Montrose and District Cricket and Rugby Football Club Team of the Year Arbroath Gymnastics Club Elite Display Team, Arbroath St Thomas Swimming Club Girls Relay Team, Arbroath United Cricket Club Under 16’s, Forfar Boys FC 2004’s, Forfar Farmington Women’s Premier League Team, Royal Montrose Golf Club Senior Section, Strathmore Silverbacks, Tayside Musketeers Cadet Men Early bird tickets for the awards can be purchased online until Friday with full price tickets on sale from Saturday from www.angusalive.scot/tickets.

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