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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...

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.

Other sports

F1: Sergio Perez’s move to Force India leaves Paul Di Resta looking for ‘new challenge’

December 13 2013

New Force India driver Sergio Perez will be looking to rebuild his Formula One career at a team he claims was his “first choice” destination after leaving McLaren. The 23-year-old Mexican signed a multi-year deal with the team yesterday and will partner Nico Hulkenberg next season. Perez, who spent just a year at McLaren after being selected to replace Lewis Hamilton following an impressive year at Sauber, found it difficult to impress in an uncompetitive car last season. Perez, whose best finish was fifth at the Indian Grand Prix, has been replaced at McLaren by Kevin Magnussen and will now bid to reclaim the reputation he earned during his two-year stint at Sauber. Perez said: “Coming here was always my first choice and I’m really happy everything has now been confirmed. “This is a young team with a lot of determination and they’ve produced competitive cars for the last few years. It’s all change for next season with the new regulations but I already have a good feeling about 2014.” Force India team principal Vijay Mallya said: “It’s a pleasure to welcome Sergio to the team. He brings a healthy mix of youth and experience, and I’ve been very impressed with his recent performances.” Perez’s arrival spells the end of Paul Di Resta’s time at the team after three racing seasons. Di Resta responded to the news on Twitter, saying: “Just want to take this opportunity to thank @clubforce for four great years. As a team we’ve come a long way. “But it’s now time for a new challenge for me in the next phase of my career and I wish them all the best for the future #beenapleasure” The Scot’s next challenge may lie away from Formula One, with Hulkenberg’s vacated seat at Sauber appearing his only hope. The Swiss team are searching for a partner for untried Russian Sergey Sirotkin while backmarkers Caterham and Marussia are also yet to complete their line-ups but would represent a major step back. Di Resta could return to the German Touring Car Championship or follow in the footsteps of his cousin Dario Franchitti and compete in America’s IndyCar series.

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


Chelsea speculation increases after Real Madrid confirm Jose Mourinho’s departure

May 21 2013

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez hailed Jose Mourinho as a part of the club’s history as he announced the coach’s imminent departure. Perez confirmed at a press conference last night that Mourinho will leave the club at the end of this season, his third at the Bernabeu. The controversial Portuguese, who led the club to league success last season with a record 100 points, has been strongly linked with a return to his former club Chelsea. Perez said: “I want to inform you all that, after speaking to Jose Mourinho, we have decided to terminate his contract at the end of this season. We both agree that this is the right time. This club will always remember him he forms part of our history. “Mourinho has spent more time at this club than any other coach has at the 20 clubs in the Primera Division, which shows it is not easy to last at a club for three years, especially at a club where there is as much pressure as this one. “Each coach has his own personality, but you cannot doubt his competitive attitude. Has he made mistakes on the odd occasion? Of course, but the level of pressure at this club is not normal. “On behalf of the board of directors, I would like to thank Jose Mourinho for the work he has done. We have taken an important step forward in a sporting and competitive sense under him, and we wish him luck in the future.” Mourinho’s departure was agreed mutually by coach and club, and Perez also confirmed he will receive no compensation payment. Mourinho will take charge of Real Madrid’s final matches of the season, away to Real Sociedad on May 26 and at home to Osasuna the following weekend. “No one has been sacked, no one has quit, it was a mutual agreement,” Perez added. Speculation will now surround Mourinho’s eventual destination, with the 50-year-old widely expected to succeed Stamford Bridge interim manager Rafael Benitez, and his replacement in Madrid. Paris St Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti has been touted as the front-runner to become the new coach of Real.


Newcastle v Chelsea – Story of the match

May 13 2018

Ayoze Perez struck twice to end Chelsea’s hopes of Champions League qualification as Newcastle secured a top-10 finish on their return to the Premier League.The Blues, who face Manchester United in the FA Cup final next Saturday, simply did not turn up for what many believe could be Antonio Conte’s final league game at the helm and were well beaten in front of a largely thrilled crowd of 52,294 at St James’ Park.Dwight Gayle headed the home side into a 23rd-minute lead they richly deserved, and Perez’s second-half double ended a run of four successive defeats with a 3-0 victory, fuelling fresh calls from the stands for manager Rafael Benitez to extend his stay on Tyneside.Tweet of the matchStar man – Jonjo ShelveyWhether it was spraying long balls across the pitch and over the top, neat through passes or testing shots, Shelvey was at the heart of all of Newcastle’s best moves. The midfielder was clearly enjoying himself. Could he yet find himself on the plane to Russia?Moment of the matchNewcastle snatched a second goal just as Chelsea were getting on top. Shelvey’s attempted shot from distance was turned in smartly by Perez. News of the goal was gratefully received at Anfield, with Liverpool fans breaking into Benitez chants. Perez added his second goal of the game shortly afterwards to kill off the Blues.View from the benchNewcastle fans are desperate for Benitez to stay on as manager, and this display only cemented their love for the Spaniard. There was only one side who looked like they were chasing Champions League football – and it wasn’t Chelsea. Blues boss Conte will not be happy with the manner in which his side conceded the third goal – a simple training-ground set-piece by the Magpies.RatingsNewcastle: Martin Dubravka 8, DeAndre Yedlin 7, Jamaal Lascelles 7, Florian Lejeune 8, Paul Dummett 7, Jonjo Shelvey 9, Mohamed Diame 7, Matt Ritchie 8, Ayoze Perez 8, Jacob Murphy 7, Dwight Gayle 7. Substitutes: Joselu (48, for Gayle) 6, Isaac Hayden (72, for Ritchie) 6, Massadio Haidara (87, for Diame) 6.Chelsea: Thibaut Courtois 6, Cesar Azpilicueta 6, Andreas Christensen 6, Gary Cahill 6, Victor Moses 6, Ross Barkley 6, N’Golo Kante 6, Tiemoue Bakayoko 7, Emerson 6, Eden Hazard 6, Olivier Giroud 7. Substitutes: Alvaro Morata (77, for Giroud) 6, Willian (77, for Barkley) 6, Pedro (82, for Hazard) 6.Who’s up next?Chelsea v Manchester United, FA Cup final, Saturday May 19


Scotland 44 Samoa 38: Listless Scots get out of jail against punishing Samoan power

November 11 2017

Scotland got an almighty scare and were given a physical lesson by Samoa in the opening Autumn Test, barely holding on for a win in the highest-scoring international ever played at BT Murrayfield. The Scots seemed comfortable just after half-time 22 points ahead through Stuart McInally’s two tries even if they were flattered by that margin, but in the second half they were under the cosh in terms of territory and possession against a motivated, skilful and power-packed Samoan side. Twice Samoa got within six points late in the game, their fifth try from Ofisa Treviranus making for a really nervy final three or four minutes in a game that should never have been that close. The Scots coughed up far too much ball, and seemed to be physically second best for much of the match with Gregor Townsend’s gameplan centred on speed falling apart because of their poor execution. Finn Russell had one of his poorest days in a Scotland shirt and far too many balls went down and tackles were missed in the midfield. Lack of a punishing ball carrier was a problem for much of the day, as Samoa grew in belief as the match progressed and will feel they were just a couple of unlucky bounces away from a real upset. The first came after just 94 seconds, giving the Scots an immediate lead but maybe lulling them intol a false sense of security for what was to come. New cap Darryl Marfo made an instant impact securing a turnover at the first breakdown, and from there Scotland struck with opportunistic ease. Russell tried a little grubber in behind the Samoan defence, Tommy Seymour hacked it on into the 22 and the ball took a big dark blue bounce over the head of the retreating Ah See Tuala into the hands of Stuart Hogg, who had maybe the easiest of his 17 tries for his country. But the score served to put a listless Scotland too much at ease and Samoa were able to pick off turnovers from spilled ball and over ambitious moves, as well as exploit some slack tackling. Tim Nanai-Williams and Russell swapped penalties, but the Scots stand-off’s second on 25 minutes still didn’t settle his team down. Instead penalties gave Samoa field position and a quick tap inside the 22 caught the Scottish defence fractured, and lock Josh Tyrell plunged over under the posts, Nanai-Williams converting. The Scots continued to waste ball until on 35 minutes Russell made a little break, the Scots forced a quick throw and Hogg’s missed pass saw Huw Jones step out of a tackle and dive into the corner for a try that went unconverted. That settled the Scots and they forced a third try through setpiece, winning two scrum penalties and then driving a lineout for Stuart McInally to get the score, Russell adding the extras. The same method worked after half-time, Samoa forced to surrender a penalty in their 22, the Scots kicking to the corner and the hooker barrelling over at the end of a lineout drive. But the general slackness of Scotland’s performance returned when the kick-off was fumbled, Samoa worked the ball into the 22 and Tyrell wriggled over from close range for his second try, Nanai-Williams converting. And Samoa continued to dominate territory as the Scots continued to cough it up, even when a maul was stalled Jack Lam made good ground off the back to the line, and Nanai Williams muscled over from close range, converting himself to cut the lead to just eight points. Scotland were in need of a lift and Peter Horne, on for Russell, tried a little chip pass which Paul Perez fumbled into the hands of Lee Jones, who slung a pass inside for Alex Dunbar to crash over. But the Scots botched the kick-off again, Samoa punched close with replacement hooker Matu’u off-loading and Keiran Fonotia bashed over from close range. Suddenly Samoa were actually in range of a converted try, and there was an element of desperation about the Scots until with five minutes remaining replacement Cornell du Preez’s neat inside pass opened up a yawning gap for Horne to go through on a 25 metre run for what looked like a clinching try, which he converted himself. Still Samoa wouldn’t lie down, however, and Treviranus took advantage of more soft Scottish defence to sprint in under the posts from 20 metres out, Nanai Williams converting again. Another penalty against Scotland gave Samoa one last chance, but the Scots turned over a maul and gratefully booted into touch to safeguard the win. Att: 66,271 Scotland: S Hogg; T Seymour, H Jones, A Dunbar, L Jones; F Russell, A Price; D Marfo, S McInally, WP Nel; B Toolis, J Gray; J Barclay (capt), H Watson, R Wilson. Replacements: G Turner for McInally 59, J Bhatti for Marfo 59, Z Fagerson for Nel 33, T Swinson for Toolis 72, C du Preez for Barclay 59, H Pyrgos for Price 66, P Horne for Russell 66, C Harris for Seymour 59. Samoa: A Tuala; P Perez, K Fonotia, R Lee-Lo, D Lemi; T Nanai-Williams, P Cowley; J Lay, M Leiataua, D Brighouse;  J Tyrell, C Vui;  P Fa'asalele for Brighouse 52, TJ Ioane, J Lam. Replacements: M Matu'u for Leiataua 57, H Sasagi for Lay 59, F Lemalu for Tyrell 72, O Treviranus for Ioane 62, M Matavao for Cowley 50, AJ Alatimu for Tuala 74, A Leiua for Lee-Lo 71. Ref: N Berry (Australia RU)

Angus & The Mearns

Gingerbread tribute to the Wee Red Town

October 14 2013

When Libby Jones was invited by Bank Street Gallery owner Susie Clark to exhibit at her gallery in Kirriemuir, she became intrigued by the history of the town. As well as Kirriemuir’s most famous son and Peter Pan author JM Barrie, she discovered the town had also been home for a time to AC/DC singer Bon Scott, Victorian mountaineer Hugh Munro, and 19th century writer Violet Jacob. She found the town had been a hotbed of witchcraft in the 16th century and is also world famous for its gingerbread and decided to combine all these elements. Ms Jones went on to craft a boxed set of prints, which also doubles as a card game. She said: “This tongue-in-cheek edition of 10 boxes, of 20 cards per box, features Kirriemuir characters presented on a slice of gingerbread on a plate. I have also made a poster featuring all the 10 characters in the game.” Visitors can see images of Edinburgh Castle with fireworks, wildlife such as gannets, and artwork made after a visit to Antarctica. Londoner and master printmaker Ms Jones exhibited work from her sub-zero stay at a Discovery Point exhibition in Dundee last year. Children can see her work Cooking the Climate, a comment on global warming, which consists of a microwave oven and slideshow with rotating polar animals. There is also a fossilised mobile phone in a second installation, Fossils of the Anthropocene an exploration of the traces that might remain of civilisation in 50 million years’ time. She is also exhibiting a selection of her woodcuts, linocuts, collagraphs and screenprints at the gallery. The exhibition runs until November 8 and opening hours can be found on www.bankstreetgallery.org, or by telephoning 01575 570070.

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


Chelsea’s Champions League hopes ended as Ayoze Perez leads Newcastle to victory

May 13 2018

Ayoze Perez struck twice to end Chelsea’s faint hopes of Champions League qualification as Newcastle secured a top-10 finish on their return to the Premier League.The Blues, who face Manchester United in the FA Cup final next Saturday, simply did not turn up for what many believe could be Antonio Conte’s final league game at the helm and were beaten 3-0 at St James’ Park.Dwight Gayle headed the home side into a 23rd-minute lead they richly deserved, and Perez’s second-half double ended a run of four successive defeat and clinched 10th place, fuelling fresh calls from the stands for manager Rafael Benitez to extend his stay on Tyneside.But as the Magpies added fifth-placed Chelsea to the recent scalps of Manchester United and Arsenal, the reigning champions headed south having given themselves little chance overhauling Liverpool in the race for the top four with an insipid display.Newcastle started in confident fashion with Jonjo Shelvey and Matt Ritchie prominent, and it was Shelvey who tested returning goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois with a well-struck ninth-minute half volley from Gayle’s lay-off.The Belgium international was in action again within seconds to parry Mohamed Diame’s dipping effort with the visitors weathering something of a storm, although they eventually started to work their way into the game.However, Courtois had to claw the ball away after team-mate N’Golo Kante had diverted Ritchie’s shot and then saw Diame whistle a long-range effort inches wide.But there was no escape in the 23rd minute when, after the keeper had scooped Jacob Murphy’s looping effort away, Gayle headed the rebound home from close range.It might have been worse seconds later when Shelvey powered his way into the box, only to blast his left-footed effort past a post when he seemed certain to score, and Courtois made a fine one-handed save to keep out Gayle’s 27th-minute drive.Cesar Azpilicueta picked out Ross Barkley’s run into the box with a fine 33rd-minute pass as Chelsea threatened briefly, but the former Everton midfielder ran out of time and space before he could get a shot away.Murphy dragged a stoppage-time effort wide with Courtois at full-stretch, but it was opposite number Martin Dubravka who needed every inch of his sizeable frame within seven minutes of the restart to keep out Olivier Giroud’s deft flick.The visitors’ plight deepened after 59 minutes when Shelvey latched on to a lose clearance and saw his shot turned home by Perez, and worse was to come for Conte’s men.Barkley should really have reduced the deficit within three minutes, only to be denied by Dubravka’s foot, and the miss quickly proved costly as Perez tapped home after Florian Lejeune had sent a Shelvey free-kick back across goal.Conte threw on Alvaro Morata, Willian and Pedro, but it was to little avail as the hosts held firm.