Guthrie set to play key role

DIGGERS Ex-Services captain Steve Meakins' change of occupation is already paying off for his club.

Meakins, who recently took on a role with Coffs Property Consultants, was able to use his job to help lure former NSW squad member Brad Guthrie to Diggers.

"I was having a chat with Brad's fiance when she was up here looking at a few houses and it came up in conversation that Brad played cricket," Meakins said.

"I made it a condition of the lease that Brad had to play cricket for us."

Guthrie, a right-arm swing bowler, impressed in his first outing, snaring 3-29 off 17 overs to help Diggers skittle third-placed Bellingen for 110 on Saturday and he is set to play a big hand in Diggers' late charge to the semi finals.

During a ten-season first grade career in Sydney, which included stints with St George, Sutherland and Gordon, Guthrie also spent four years in the State squad, but never played a Pura or ING Cup match.

But he did manage to send down the new ball against a touring South African provincial side in 1995, picking up two scalps.

While Guthrie, 31, says he has lost some of his pace, he will still give Diggers' attack a dangerous edge, as evidenced in Bellingen on Saturday.

"I'm probably medium-fast, although I'd be closer to medium these days," he said.

"(But) I'd still like to play country representative matches.

"The standard up here is pretty good from what I have seen, although it is probably a bit less consistent.

"I've seen a couple of names I have played against like Bruce Mills and Craig Haworth."

Tomorrow is make or break time for Diggers, who will resume at 4-32, needing another 79 runs to take first innings points.

Guthrie didn't want to put a curse on himself by commenting on his batting ability ? "I don't want to be too over confident and say I smash them like Bradman" ? but he was confident his side could score the runs required.

"We didn't get a good start, but I'm sure we can recover and get the points," he said.

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