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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...

Football

Motherwell 1 Hibs 0: Butcher tipped for Hibs post after Well defeat

November 4 2013

Hibernian chairman Rod Petrie has refused to confirm if Inverness manager Terry Butcher is the favourite to succeed Pat Fenlon as Easter Road boss. The Leith outfit lost their first match since the 44-year-old Irishman resigned when they went down 1-0 to Motherwell at Fir Park. But Hibs chief Petrie declined to comment on speculation Butcher is now the man he wants to take the club forward. He said: “I think Pat Fenlon did a good job but he’s made his decision and we are looking forward now. I’m not going into any names. It’s important that we take our time and get the right guy.” Fenlon’s No 2 Jimmy Nicholl was in charge of Hibs for their Scottish Premiership clash with Well but watched his fragile new charges go down to Stephen McManus’ 23rd-minute header. The Northern Irishman was visibly saddened to see Fenlon go but thought he had managed to persuade the former Bohemians boss to stay on in the capital following Wednesday’s humiliating loss to Hearts in the League Cup quarter-finals. He said: “I tried to talk Pat out of resigning. For a good length of time and I thought I had him too. But deep down I could see the relief in him once he had made his decision. “Can I understand his reasons? No, and I told him I thought he was going for the wrong reasons. But then when you watch the interview after he announced he was leaving, you can see the weight coming off him.” Well boss Stuart McCall took that 2-0 defeat to the Dons to heart but was pleased to see his side return to winnings ways. “To win today is a massive relief because it has been a tough week,” he said.

Football

Hibernian 5 Stranraer 3: Liam Craig fires hat-trick to ease Hibs fears

September 25 2013

Liam Craig completed his first ever hat-trick as Hibernian clinched a Scottish League Cup quarter-final slot with a 5-3 win over Stranraer. The former St Johnstone midfielder kept a clear head to net a fine treble while his team-mates did their best to let the League One upstarts back into the game after they had eased into a 4-1 lead. Hibs entered the competition a round later than the majority of their Scottish Premiership counterparts on account of their participation in what turned out to be a wretched European campaign. Thankfully for manager Pat Fenlon, five games without defeat going in to the third-round meeting with the Blues eased the pressure on his position and helped fade memories of that infamous 7-0 Europa League drubbing by Malmo. But Stephen Aitken’s Blues had pulled off the shock of the previous round by knocking out top-flight Ross County and they looked set to repeat the act in Edinburgh as Jamie Longworth’s header gave them a fourth-minute lead. Hibs did not panic at that point and were level within moments as Craig nodded home his third of the campaign before Abdellah Zoubir’s deflected strike and a Scott Rumsby own goal had them clear at the break. Craig added a fourth within two minutes of the restart but Fenlon’s side were soon teetering again. Chris Aitken’s 20-yard curler and a quick-fire third for Stranraer another OG, this time by Hibs defender Michael Nelson was enough to have the Edinburgh men fearing yet another mortifying defeat. But Craig’s third from the penalty spot on 61 minutes calmed fraying nerves and Hibs held out to secure a place in the last eight.

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.

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

Football

Hibernian v Inverness CT: Terry Butcher’s looks set for Hibs move

November 9 2013

Terry Butcher looks set to swap Inverness for Hibernian despite the continuing silence from both clubs over his future ahead of their Scottish Premiership meeting. Butcher, who was granted permission to speak to Hibernian over their managerial vacancy on Tuesday, is thought to have said his farewells at the Highland club after embracing captain Richie Foran following an address to the players. In another potentially significant development, youth coach Duncan Shearer took training 24 hours after Butcher’s assistant, Maurice Malpas, had stated he was fully focused on preparing the team for the Easter Road game. Butcher left the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium without making comment to the waiting media, but it looks as though his successful stint at Inverness has come to an end. Hibs stated on Tuesday that caretaker boss Jimmy Nicholl had been told he would take the team again today after stepping in for the 1-0 defeat by Motherwell on Sunday following Pat Fenlon’s resignation.

Fife

Markinch Highland Games finds a friend to pay police bill

May 27 2015

A benefactor has stepped up to pay new charges which organisers said were putting at risk the future of a historic Fife Highland games. Markinch Highland Games committee assistant secretary Shane Fenton who also sits on the general committee of the Scottish Highland Games Association said that following a Courier article on Saturday, someone has come forward to sponsor the police charges. Organisers were told by police to stump up £600 to pay for officers’ attendance. Following a social media backlash, police offered an 80% discount and said they would charge £147 instead, amid fears the long-term future of the games could be in doubt. Mr Fenton said: “Since Saturday’s article and since the recent social media campaign highlighting the introduction of police charges on the Markinch Highland Games for the first time ever, the committee are happy to announce that another ‘friend of the games’ has stepped forward to foot the police bill as part of a sponsorship. There have also been inquiries from others looking to sponsor events at the games.” Mr Fenton said the Markinch Highland Games to be held at John Dixon Park on June 7 will give athletes an early-season boost by staging a series of four lucrative 90m invitation races. The £1,000 90m Male Invitation which has a first prize of £500 is thought to be the biggest monetary prize offered for an athletic event anywhere in Fife. There will be three-figure sums for both the runner-up and third-placed athlete. The winner of the 90m Youths Invitation (10-15 years) will carry off a prize of £100. Both the 90m Vets and Women’s Invitation races will have prize money of £40, £25, £15, £10, £10, £10. To qualify to run in any of the invitation races, athletes must be entered in the handicap sprint races. All the usual events for athletes are scheduled to take place, including open: 90m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1,600m and 3,200m, with the youths events being the same with the exception of the 3,200m. The 90-metre track at Markinch is the only one on the Highland games circuit still using the Chariots of Fire-type stringed lanes. Entries will close on Sunday. Telephone Adam Crawford on 01592 753439 or email adam.crawford@hotmail.com for details.

Perth & Kinross

Culinary dimension added to Perth Show

July 28 2016

For more than 150 years Perth Show has been a popular, once a year meeting point for the people of the city and the farming community. The show - now the third largest of its type in Scotland – remains as always a showcase for champion livestock but this year holds a much wider appeal for visitors. To be held on Friday and Saturday August 5 and 6 on the South Inch, throughout the two days, trade stands, sideshows, entertainment, activities, music and parades all add to the vibrancy of the show along with a new culinary direction. “For the first time, Perth Show is set to feature a cookery theatre and food and drink marquee,” said show secretary Neil Forbes. “This will bring a new and popular dimension to the visitor attraction. “Perth Show 2016 is also delighted to welcome Perthshire On A Plate (POAP) - a major food festival, celebrating the very best in local produce and culinary talent. “Organised by Perthshire Chamber of Commerce, the two-day festival will run as part of the show and feature celebrity and local chefs, demonstrations and tastings, book signings, food and drink related trade stands, fun-filled activities for ‘kitchen kids’ and a large dining area and pop-up restaurants in a double celebration of food and farming.” Heading the celebrity chef line-up are television favourite Rosemary Shrager (Friday) and spice king Tony Singh (Saturday), backed by a host of talented local chefs including Graeme Pallister (63 Tay Street) and Grant MacNicol (Fonab Castle). The cookery theatre, supported by Quality Meat Scotland, will also stage a fun cookery challenge between students from Perth College and the ladies of the SWI. A range of pop-up restaurants featuring taster dishes from some of the area’s best known eating places will allow visitors to sample local produce as they relax in the show’s new POAP dining area. “We’re trying to create a wide and varied programme of entertainment,” said Mr Forbes. “Late afternoon on Friday will see the It’s A Knockout  challenge with teams from businesses throughout Perth and Perthshire competing against each other. “And the first day’s programme will end with a beer, wine and spirit festival where teams can celebrate their achievements and visitors can sample a wide range of locally produced drinks.” This year will also see the reintroduction of showjumping at Perth Show on the Saturday afternoon.

Scottish Premiership

Hibernian v Celtic: Pat Fenlon has high hopes for Zoubir once he learns English

October 18 2013

Hibs boss Pat Fenlon has backed playmaker Abdellah Zoubir to become a star once he overcomes the language barrier. The French winger has signed on with the Easter Road side on loan from French second division side FC Istres until the end of the season, and Fenlon claims his grasp of English is all that is holding him back. The 21-year-old’s only start since his switch was against Stranraer in the League Cup, where he put on a dazzling display in a 5-3 win. Now, with Celtic visiting Leith on Saturday, Fenlon is considering letting his talented wide man do his talking on the pitch. Celtic face Ajax on Tuesday as they continue their Champions League adventure, but Fenlon does not expect Hoops boss Neil Lennon to throw him any favours by resting his top players.

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

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