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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 United

Dundee United 2 Hamilton 2: Tangerines in thrilling draw with Accies

September 13 2014

Dundee United missed out on the chance to go top of the Premiership this afternoon after drawing 2-2 with Hamilton Accies at Tannadice. The 7,109 fans inside the ground were treated to an incredible first-half. United opened the scoring in the 17th minute when Mario Bilate took a throw-in to Nadir Ciftci who embarked on a run into the Hamilton box before rounding Accies keeper Michael McGovern to roll the ball into the net. Midway through the half, Ciftci and Hamilton’s Darian MacKinnon clashed, with the pair being yellow carded by referee John Beaton. Those bookings would prove fateful for both players. In the 28th minute, Accies equalised when Mikael Antoine-Curier pounced on a United defensive error to lash the ball past home keeper Rado Cierzniak. Before the Tangerines could restart the game, MacKinnon was given a second yellow followed by an inevitable red for over-zealous celebrations in front of the United dug-out. In the 34th minute though, 10-man Accies sensationally took the lead when Tony Andreu hit a speculative 22-yard shot which flew under the diving Cierzniak’s body and into the back of the net. United then went down to 10 men in the 40th minute when Ciftci punched the ball into the back of the Accies net with Mr Beaton sending him for an early bath. However, seconds before half-time, the Tangerines equalised. Gary Mackay-Steven sent a corner in from the left with Jarek Fojut sending a bullet header past McGovern. The second half started quietly but Accies skipper Martin Canning had to look lively to head off his own line following a United attack in the 53rd minute. Cierzniak then partly redeemed himself when he raced to the edge of his box to thwart Antoine-Curier and then pulled off a great save as Alister Crawford looked to net the rebound. With the game petering out, United hearts were in their mouths in the 90th minute when Accies sub Mikey Devlin sent a powerful header just over Cierzniak’s crossbar.

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

Dundee United

Dundee United v Hamilton: Their last five meetings

May 25 2017

Hamilton go into tonight's Premiership play-off first leg knowing they boast the better record in recent meetings with Dundee United. Here's our guide to the sides' last five clashes: April 24 2016: United 1 Hamilton 3 Dundee United faced a derby doomsday scenario after a woeful home defeat to Hamilton Accies. (full report)   February 13 2016: Hamilton 0 United 0 Dundee United fell 12 points adrift at the bottom of the Premiership despite getting a decent-looking draw away to Hamilton Accies. (full report)   November 28 2015: United 1 Hamilton 2 Dundee United took the lead at home only to be pegged back before ultimately losing the match. (full report)   August 15 2015: Hamilton 4 United 0 Dundee United weren’t at the races at Hamilton as they were hammered by Accies at New Douglas Park. (full report)   April 11 2015: United 1 Hamilton 0 Dundee United returned to winning ways in the Scottish Premiership thanks to Chris Erskine’s decisive 70th-minute strike which ended Hamilton’s top-six hopes at Tannadice. (full report)

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 United

Hamilton Accies 0 Dundee United 0: Tangerines fall further behind despite decent draw

February 13 2016

Dundee United fell 12 points adrift at the bottom of the Premiership despite getting a decent-looking draw away to Hamilton Accies. It was typical of the Tangerines’ season that on a day when they played some good stuff and secured a point at New Douglas Park the venue where they lost 4-0 back in August they ended up falling further behind in the table. The reason was that Kilmarnock won 2-0 just a few miles down the road in Motherwell, meaning the Fir Park side replaced them as the nearest team to the Tannadice men but they are still a dozen points better off. It could have been even worse had it not been for a brilliant penalty save from United keeper Eiji Kawashima with just four minutes remaining, with the Japanese blocking Ali Crawford’s spotkick with his legs. The Tangerines’ Scottish Cup goal hero Scott Fraser was, somewhat surprisingly, named as a sub despite stealing the show against Partick Thistle the previous Saturday. That meant manager Mixu Paatelainen named the same starting line-up for the third game in a row against Kilmarnock, the Jags and now the Accies. New striker Edward Ofere joined Fraser on the bench, while the home side were without the suspended Darian MacKinnon. United, backed by a 1200-plus travelling support in a 3902 crowd, came close to opening the scoring on 19 minutes when a Guy Demel strike from outside the box went just wide. Clear-cut chances were few are far between for both sides and when Hamilton threatened it was from distance on 36 minutes, with Crawford shooting over from 25 yards. A minute later, though, the visitors went within a whisker of breaking the deadlock when Simon Murray stabbed the ball goalwards after being played in by John Rankin but keeper Michael McGovern was there to save. Right on the half-time whistle, Hamilton’s Crawford sent a freekick just wide of the post. Four minutes after the restart, there was an injury scare for United when Demel suffered a head knock that needed treatment on the sidelines but the midfielder made it back on. United had as serious shout for a penalty ignored by referee Steven McLean on 54 minutes when defender Coll Donaldson appeared to be fouled by Lucas Tagliapietra. With news filtering through that Killie were winning at Motherwell, you sensed the Tangerines had to really go for it. On 70 minutes, Blair Spittal sent a freekick from just outside the box into the Accies’ wall as United continued to look for a winner. There was late drama as Kawashima became the hero for the Tannadice side. He saved Crawford’s penalty with just four minutes remaining after Paul Paton had slid in on Dougie Imrie. Having survived that, the vistors pushed and pushed for a winner but Hamilton, who had Mikey Devlin red-carded in the closing stages, held out.

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

St Johnstone

St Johnstone 1 Hamilton 0: Saints move up to seventh with narrow victory

March 28 2018

St Johnstone took another big step to all but ensuring their Premiership safety with this win over Hamilton Accies at McDiarmid Park. The victory elevated Saints up to seventh in the table with the Perth side now 15 points ahead of rock bottom Ross County and 12 in front of Partick in 11th. The decisive counter of the game was an early own goal by Accies Scott McMann with the home side going on to dominate the first half. Hamilton made a better fist of things in the second 45 however St Johnstone took all three points to extend their unbeaten run to three games. Saints boss Tommy Wright made two changes from the side that drew 1-1 with Hibs before the international break. Jason Kerr, who was capped last week for the Scotland Under-21 side against Andorra, returned from suspension at the expense of Liam Gordon while George Williams came in for Chris Millar. Hamilton manager Martin Canning brought back Darian MacKinnon following his recovery from an injury sustained against Dundee in January. St Johnstone got off to a dream start with their goal in just the fifth minute. Blair Alston fired a corner in from the left that was flicked on by Liam Craig with McMann getting the last touch under pressure from Kerr. Shortly after, the home side had another opportunity when the ball broke to Chris Kane 16 yards out but his shot was blocked on the line by Hamilton’s Rakish Bingham. There was another half chance for Saints in the 20th minute when an Alston free-kick from the right eventually found its way to Steven Anderson but the big defender could not keep his attempt down and it flew high and wide. St Johnstone were certainly well on top in terms of opportunities with Alston again the provider, delivering a cross from the right with Kane sending a bullet header just inches over Accies keeper Gary Woods’ bar. There was further pressure on the Hamilton goal in the 29th minute when Scott Tanser hit a cutback from the left towards Alston with McCann making a vital block as the midfielder pulled the trigger. Little was going right for Accies as summed up by Woods comically slicing what should have been a straight-forward clearance out of play. The keeper would have breathed a big sigh of relief with Kerr unable to take full advantage with a downward header from the resultant corner. Canning was also no doubt a relieved man that his side headed down the tunnel at half-time only one goal in arrears considering the home side’s superiority throughout the first 45 minutes. Accies finally had a half chance of their own in the 50th minute when sub Ross Jenkins’ flighted cross from the left sailed over Saints keeper Alan Mannus before settling on the roof of the net. St Johnstone hit back right away with George Williams cutting in from the left but his low shot was straight at Woods who easily gathered. However, the home side were not having things all their own way and Hamilton mounted a lightning break on the hour mark but the move ended tamely with another sub Antonio Raul Rojano shooting straight at Mannus. Alston then created some space for himself at the edge of the Accies penalty area but again his shot lacked power and was gratefully snapped up by Woods. Saints would have been all too aware that although still on top, their one-goal advantage was a slender one. That was perfectly illustrated in the 70th minute when Mannus did well to punch away a wicked corner from the right. The ball fell perfectly for MacKinnon who hit a low drive from 14 yards but it flew straight back into the arms of Mannus. The keeper then had to look lively to fist away an inswinging free-kick from the left by David Templeton with the same Accies player then going close with a smart shot from distance. Saints could have put the game to bed in the 78th minute when they broke quickly with Steven MacLean playing a great cross-field pass to Kane who hit a powerful shot that was well saved by Woods. Attendance – 2,037. St Johnstone – Mannus, Tanser, Alston, Shaughnessy, Anderson, Davidson, MacLean, Williams (Willock, 72), Kerr, Kane, Craig. Subs not used – Clark, Millar, Johnstone, McClean, Watson, Gordon. Hamilton – Woods, McMann, Tomas, Imrie, Bingham (Jenkins, 45), Templeton, McKinnon, Lyon, Want, Sarris (Miller, 80), Ogkmpoe (Rojano, 45). Subs not used – Fulton, Redmond, Hughes, Van der Weg.. Referee – Euan Anderson.

Angus & The Mearns

Fine and ban for lorry driver who pushed cattle trailer off the road

November 1 2013

A Dundee lorry driver lost his job with a national company after he was involved in a spectacular accident with a tractor and six prize cows on the A90. A father and daughter from Brechin needed hospital treatment after the incident near Glamis on July 12, in which cattle were thrown on to the road and under a trailer. John Hamilton, of Victoria Street, appeared for sentence at Forfar Sheriff Court on Thursday having previously admitted a charge of driving without due care and attention by letter. The court had heard how the 44-year-old driver, formerly an employee of catering firm Brakes, pushed the tractor off the road after following it for a short distance at 5.15pm on a Friday. Heather and Arthur Duff were driving in the nearside lane southbound, near the Quilko junction. The accused was also driving south. Depute fiscal Jill Drummond said Hamilton was driving a white Mercedes heavy goods vehicle and the Duffs were driving a green John Deere tractor with a container carrying six show cows. It is understood these were headed to the Kirriemuir Agricultural Show. As the Duffs travelled, the accused began to narrow the gap, until it pushed the trailer. This caused the tractor and the cattle float to plunge down an embankment, scattering the cattle. Ms Drummond said: “On the police’s arrival at the locus the accused was still sitting in a state of shock.” Both the Duffs suffered light injuries during the incident. Defence agent Brian Bell his client had no recollection of the crash itself. “Even today he cannot explain why the accident happened,” he added. Mr Bell said Hamilton’s lorry was limited in its speed at 51mph, which was later checked by police. They could not find any defect with his vehicle. He added he suspected the tractor would have been driving at no more than 25mph. Mr Bell said Hamilton had worked for his former employer for more than three years, and was dismissed on October 18 after being suspended. Disqualifying Hamilton from driving for four months and fining him £275, visiting sheriff Marion MacDonald said: “I am concerned you are not able to explain how the accident happened.”

Motoring news

Form an orderly Q for Audi SUV

August 10 2016

First there was the Q7. Then the Q5 and Q3. All have been a phenomenal success for Audi. I’d be surprised if that script changes when the Q2 arrives in November. Audi’s baby SUV is available to order now with prices starting at £22,380. Can’t quite stretch to that? Don’t worry, an entry level three-cylinder 1.0 litre version will be available later this year with a cover tag of £20,230. From launch, there are three trim levels available for the Q2 called SE, Sport and S Line. The range-topping Edition #1 model will be available to order from next month priced from £31,170. While the entry-level 113bhp 1.0-litre unit isn’t available right away, engines you can order now include a 113bhp 1.6-litre diesel and 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol unit, both with manual or S tronic automatic transmissions. Also joining the Q2 line-up from September is the 2.0-litre TDI diesel with 148bhp or 187bhp. This unit comes with optional Quattro all-wheel drive. A 2.0 litre petrol with Quattro and S tronic joins the range next year. Standard equipment for the new Audi Q2 includes a multimedia infotainment system with rotary/push-button controls, supported with sat-nav. Audi’s smartphone-friendly interface, 16in alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity and heated and electric mirrors are all also standard for the Audi. Along with the optional Audi virtual cockpit and the head-up display, the driver assistance systems for the Audi Q2 also come from the larger Audi models – including the Audi pre sense front with pedestrian recognition that is standard. The system recognises critical situations with other vehicles as well as pedestrians crossing in front of the vehicle, and if necessary it can initiate hard braking – to a standstill at low speeds. Other systems in the line-up include adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function, traffic jam assist, the lane-departure warning system Audi side assist, the lane-keeping assistant Audi active lane assist, traffic sign recognition and rear cross-traffic assist.