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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 homeowner ‘surprised’ at housebreaker’s jail term

March 5 2014

A Dundee homeowner was threatened with violence after he walked in on thieves stealing his family’s possessions, the city’s sheriff court has heard. John Phinn, 38, of HMP Perth, was returned to jail for 28 months on Tuesday after breaking into the home of a young couple with an eight-week-old baby on December 20. Depute fiscal Charmaine Gilmartin told the court the male homeowner was confronted with Phinn when he arrived home at 2.20pm. She said: “He had a feeling there was someone else in the property and, assuming it was his partner, he shouted hello. “At that point he was faced with the accused standing in the kitchen with a large holdall in his hand. The man grabbed hold of the accused and asked what he was doing. “The accused told him there was someone else in the house and that if he let him go they wouldn’t hurt him.” The man let Phinn go and he left the house without the belongings he was attempting to steal along with his accomplice. The holdall Phinn had been filling up was found to contain £1,765 worth of items he intended to steal, including a phone, two laptops, a cycling kit, a computer games console and an alarm clock. The court heard it was only after Phinn left the man discovered damage to the front door caused by Phinn when he kicked it in to gain entry. Police detained Phinn shortly afterwards and discovered a jewellery box that contained keepsakes given to the couple to mark the birth of their child. Defence solicitor Paul Parker Smith said Phinn’s record showed “house breaking after house breaking” to feed his habit and said he was stuck in a revolving door as he was in and out of prison. Phinn’s 28-month sentence was backdated to December. The homeowner said: “I am surprised at the sentence, because the Scottish Government said anyone who broke into a house and stole property at Christmas would get five years in prison.”


Match report: Dunfermline 3 Hearts 1

July 28 2010

Dunfermline turned on the style to score their second successive pre-season victory over SPL opposition. Two goals from winger Joe Cardle, who manager Jim McIntyre insisted was "sensational," and another from Nick Phinn sealed the win. McIntyre was rightly chuffed to bits with the victory over Hearts. He told Courier Sport, "This was their first game, so they're still feeling their way into their pre-season preparations, but I can only really speak for our boys. "I thought we played with a real tempo, passed it really well and closed Hearts down." As for Cardle, the Pars boss added, "I thought tonight he was sensational and at times practically unplayable." Hearts manager Jim Jefferies said, "That team will bear no resemblance to the one in the weeks ahead, I can assure you of that." The visitors marginally had the better of the opening exchanges and could have bagged a couple of goals themselves. David Templeton, who tormented the home defence in the opening 30 minutes, went close with a couple of long-range efforts. Not to be outdone at the other end, Steven McDougall evaded a couple of defenders and forced a fine stop from Jamie McDonald. McDougall then fired wide again when he should have slid the ball through to Nick Phinn, who was staring at an open goal. Less than a minute after the restart the Pars were in front when a Phinn shot from inside the box deflected off a Hearts defender, clipped the post and went in. McDonald could do nothing about it. In the 55th minute referee John McKendrick waved away Calum Elliot's claims for a penalty after he tangled with Alex Keddie, who was on for skipper Austin McCann. Four minutes later Cardle bagged the first of his brace when he swept home a pinpoint cross from Phinn. Cardle then sealed the win with a superb solo effort in the 68th minute. Having turned a couple of Hearts defenders he slammed the ball past McDonald and into the back of the net. He nearly grabbed his hat-trick 10 minutes later, but pulled his shot wide. Elliot netted Hearts' consolation goal eight minutes from time when his glancing header from a Templeton cross beat Kyle Allison. Dunfermline defended well and Neil McGregor pulled off a series of fine tackles throughout the game. The home side could have scored even more in the dying minutes as Andy Kirk, Paul Willis and then Cardle spurned opportunities. Attendance 2195.


Dunfermline Athletic eye home record as Dundee FC come calling

January 15 2011

Dunfermline and Dundee both put proud records on the line at East End Park this Saturday, and Pars midfielder Nick Phinn is determined that it won't be the home team's that is brought to an end. Jim McIntyre's men are unbeaten on their own patch this season, while Dundee can boast a six-game winning streak, as well as an unbeaten one in the first division under manager Barry Smith. Phinn said, "The run isn't something you look at in the first couple of months of the season but now that we've built it up, we want to keep it going. "Everybody knows that if you want to win promotion from this league you have to have a strong home record. "We know that we need to buck our ideas up away from home as well, but Dundee are up next at home so that's all we're concentrating on just now." He knows from previous experience the psychological impact a hard-fought record like their own can have on opponents. He explained, "I can remember going to face teams like St Johnstone when they were top of the first division a couple of seasons ago and on a great run. It's on your mind. "Hopefully that's something teams are thinking about when they come to our place. It's up to us to make that count." The last time the Pars played in front of their own fans, they produced one of their best performances of the season a 5-0 rout of Cowdenbeath. What followed, however, was a defeat to Raith Rovers and a draw in the Scottish Cup at Montrose. Phinn observed, "It was disappointing not to go through on the day against Montrose, but they gave a good account of themselves.Blazing"In the second half we came out all guns blazing and got ourselves in front. Unfortunately we weren't able to hold on. "You never want to lose a derby so the Raith defeat was a really hard one to take. "But we'll be drawing upon the way we played against Cowdenbeath, when we created a lot of chances and took a lot of them." McIntyre said, "Dundee are in great form but we're the home team and we'll be determined to take the game to them." He expects to have the same squad to choose from as at Montrose. The focus at Dundee will now turn to today's trip to East End Park following yesterday's rejection of their points appeal. Manager Barry Smith will play a trialist in the game and will also have Nicky Riley available after injury. The Dark Blues will have to bounce back following their heavy home defeat to Motherwell in the Scottish Cup last Sunday but defender Matt Lockwood is confident they can. "We know we are better than we showed on that day," said Lockwood. "The table shows that Dunfermline have been the best team in the league so far so we are up against it. "But apart from Sunday our form has been great recently and I think we have gained 10 points on Dunfermline in the last wee while. "Of course, that is irrelevant now with the deduction we have been hit with but the one thing they can't take away from us is our form."


Celtic v Dunfermline: McIntyre refuses to be defeated by Pars’ lengthy injury list

February 22 2012

Dunfermline boss Jim McIntyre is convinced his Pars have enough quality to avoid relegation from the SPL despite suffering from an injury crisis. The East End Park men are languishing bottom of the table, albeit joint on points with Hibs, and face a daunting trip to face league leaders Celtic at Parkhead tonight. The Hoops are flying high, of course, with their name all but engraved on the championship trophy following Rangers' dive into administration. The home side know they can go 20 points ahead of the troubled Ibrox men with victory this evening and McIntyre's challenge is made even tougher by being without a host of first-choice players. Nicky Phinn's nightmare season continued after the midfielder tore his hamstring in training. Jordan McMillan is a major doubt after sustaining an ankle injury in Saturday's 1-1 draw against Inverness Caley Thistle. In addition to that Mark Kerr (ankle), Iain Turner (back), Steven Bell (knee) and Andrew Barrowman (calf) all remain sidelined in the Pars' treatment room. But McIntyre attempted to focus on those who were available to take on the all-conquering Celts. ''I don't want to be sitting talking about injuries as I still think we have enough good players here to continue to produce football results,'' said McIntyre. ''Obviously when you lose key players at key times it isn't ideal and it can affect things, but there is still enough quality here to get results. ''We have to believe we can keep narrowing the gap and we have got back on level terms, albeit on goal difference. ''Nicky's injury came as a hammer blow. He has injured his hamstring again and it's a bad tear. He is having a difficult time just now but as always we will nurse him back and hopefully he will get a break come the end of the season.'' Celtic's 5-0 away success at Hibernian last Sunday stretched their impressive unbeaten run to 18 matches and, having been impressed with Neil Lennon's side throughout this season, McIntyre is anticipating a tough night. ''Celtic are on a fabulous run and they are playing a lot of free-flowing attacking football,'' he said. ''As well as that they also work very hard off the ball that's something that all good teams do. "I think we can be encouraged by our last visit to Celtic Park, when we lost the game 2-1. Celtic were a different side back then though and weren't playing with the confidence they are now, but I was proud of my players for battling to the very end. ''It is crucial that we don't give anything away and that if Celtic are going to get a goal then they will have to earn it.'' Photo by Lynne Cameron/PA Archive

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


Match report: Raith Rovers 2 Dunfermline 0

August 23 2010

Raith Rovers are riding high at the top of the First Division following a hard-fought 2-0 win over neighbours Dunfermline. Laurie Ellis, who scored the second goal to seal all three points, reckons the Kirkcaldy side's stunning start to the season is down to good preparation and a great work ethic. "We work really hard during the week and we don't ever disrespect the opposition," said the 30-year-old defender. Rovers have won their first three league games, scoring nine goals in the process, and went into Saturday's game joint-top with rivals Dunfermline. Both sides knew they had to win the biggest game in the division but Ellis denied Raith went in as underdogs. "We certainly don't approach it like that," he said. "We have our own self-esteem and our own approach. "We went into it with a positive attitude and it's a level playing field as far as we're concerned. "We go out to win the game and we don't want to mention things like title favourites. "We're delighted with the start to the season but it's only three games and it's only nine points. "Now it rolls on to next Saturday. We're not setting our sights past seven to 10 days." Ellis said he relished the electric atmosphere of the Fife derby but admitted the noise of the 6000 crowd was sometimes a challenge. "Derby games are really loud and noisy so it's hard to get your point across to your team-mates. "We were happy to get to half time without conceding. "Football turns so often at half time and we knew we needed to get up the park more and keep the ball when we did and, most importantly, score goals." Substitute Iain Davidson's first goal just two minutes after coming on for Iain Williamson gave Rovers the boost they needed, and they kept pushing. "At 1-0 anything can happen," said Ellis. "Even at 2-0 it's still a bit precarious. The game is never dead so it was great to get that second." Both sides appeared nervy in the first half, with the hosts failing to move upfield and Pars keeper Chris Smith was never challenged. The visitors had a handful of chances to break the deadlock, but Nicky Phinn's 12 yard shot was weak and easily covered by David McGurn, and Willie Gibson's effort from 25 yards rattled the left post. The second half was a different affair altogether with Rovers upping the pace and John Baird should have opened the scoring in 49 minutes when he was brought down by Smith and the referee pointed to the spot. Baird stepped up, only to watch his drive towards the right hand corner of the net stopped by a diving Smith for an excellent one-handed save. Davidson was brought on in 71 minutes and his fresh legs gave Raith the boost they needed. Two minutes later, Gregory Tade crossed Allan Walker's corner to the substitute who sent it home from close range. Ellis doubled the tally just five minutes after that, heading another corner from Walker into the bottom of the net. Delighted Raith Rovers gaffer John McGlynn described the result as "very, very pleasing," but conceded that Dunfermline were the better team in the first half. "We didn't get high enough up the park," he said. "We were shooting ourselves in the foot in the first half and allowed Dunfermline to come at us and it gave them a lot of confidence. "The second half was more even and we gradually got ourselves in the game. "Iain Davidson coming on from the bench gave us a new lease of life and no-one was going to catch him. After that, we thoroughly deserved the victory." Gutted Pars boss Jim McIntyre put defeat down to defensive errors on his side's part. "The back four in general played very well till then but it's Nicky Phinn's job to defend the right post and he didn't do it," he said. "We made a couple of changes to try to influence things but they didn't work. Even after the first goal we should have shown a lot more character. "This is the same group of players we had last year. They know how tough the league is. If we want to have any aspirations at all we have to show more character to get back in the game."


Match report: Dunfermline 1 QoS 1 (Queens win 6-5 pens)

August 11 2010

Dunfermline fell victim to their Alba Cup bogy team again when they lost 6-5 on penalties to Queen of the South. The Doonhamers had knocked the Pars out of the tournament at the same stage on the last two occasions, and made it three times in succession when they triumphed at East End Park. Dunfermline showed their intent in torrential rain with a run and cut inside by David Graham in five minutes, the winger's shot going over. A Callum Woods ball found Steven McDougall and his cross was met by Willie Gibson. Lee Robinson parried his shot and the second by Nicky Phinn was blocked. Queen of the South fired a warning to the Pars after 13 minutes when a Rocco Quinn free-kick went just wide. The remainder of the first-half was summed up by the Pars' first corner in the 42nd minute. The Pars resumed the second-half having the bulk of the possession and Gibson came close with a well hit free-kick in the 50th minute. Three minutes later, QoS took the lead. A pass from Quinn deflected off Chris Higgins into the path of Weatherston and he raced in on goal before striking a right-foot shot past the helpless Chris Smith into the net. The away side almost doubled their lead in the 54th minute when Quinn shot wide after a run and cross by Paul Burns. Dunfermline almost equalised in the 70th minute when the Pars' two substitutes combined, A Joe Cardle cross headed just inches wide by Andy Kirk. It was QoS who looked the more dangerous and a sweeping move involving Weatherston, Derek Holmes and Quinn ended with the midfielder firing over. Dunfermline drew level after 80 minutes. A ball from Paul Willis found Cardle and the winger ran and crossed for Kirk to chip the ball over Robinson. Cardle almost put the Pars in front with just two minutes left, hitting a shot from 25 yards which was put out for a corner by Robinson. The game moved into extra time with the teams level at one-all and QoS should have gone back into the lead after 96 minutes when Weatherston's cross was met by Quinn, but he misjudged the ball. Dunfermline went close when Phinn's shot was deflected by a QoS defender and Robinson dived across the goalline to punch the ball out for a corner. Graham was next to threaten with a shot going wide of the post in the 100th minute. Woods hit a speculative shot wide after 113 minutes and the action ended with the teams level at 1-1 after extra time. Bob Harris, Burns, Quinn, McLaren, Reid converted for Queens with Kirk, Phinn,Woods, Mason and Willis scoring for the Pars. Graham and Scally missed along with Higgins and Reilly, with McGuffie putting Queens ahead, and Andy Dowie being the unfortunate man to see his penalty hit the underside of the bar to put QOS through 6-5. A disappointed Jim McIntyre said, "I don't think we did enough to go through." Attendance 1160.

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.


Hard road ahead for injury-plagued Nick Phinn

September 15 2011

Dunfermline midfielder Nick Phinn hopes to make his SPL bow in "weeks rather than months" after being put on an intensive fitness programme to finally solve his hamstring problem. The 22-year-old recently visited a specialist at Hampden to seek a second opinion on the injury after he broke down in his comeback game. Phinn was relishing the club"s top-flight return only to pick up the injury on tour in Austria in pre-season and then suffer pain again in the Fife Cup defeat to Raith Rovers. The youngster has now been put on a programme focusing on leg weights and core stability exercises to ensure he is fighting fit for a return soon. Phinn said: "I saw a guy at Hampden to get a different idea on the injury, but he pretty much said what I thought. "It"s just going to take time. I"ve got to spend more time on strengthening than coming straight back into things. "The physio and the sports scientist have put me on a programme and I"ve been working hard on that day-in, day-out."