Ryan Meppem is happy to be home, but he cannot wait to get back into the cricket arena.
The 18-year-old cricketer will spend the next five weeks in Narrabri with friends and family, before he travels to England to play a season abroad for North Petherton, a small town in Somerset,
Meppem last played in Narrabri in the 2015-16 season, before he joined South Tamworth for season 2016-17.
The recently concluded 2017-18 season saw Meppem take an even bigger step, when he joined the NSW Premier Cricket club Gordon.
Meppem played in 25 matches for the Gordon Cricket Club in the 2017-18 season, bowling in 21 of those across three competitions.
He claimed 32 scalps at 23.94, with an economy rate of 3.33 runs an over.
His best bowling was 5-102, which he bowled in 35 overs in a two-game second grade match on February 24 and March 3.
That included 11 maidens.
In total he bowled 230.1 overs, producing 41 maidens.
With the bat he scored 138 runs in 16 innings at an average of 11.50,
usually batting towards the middle-lower order.
His highest score was 37, which he made on his club debut.
Meppem was content with his first season as a NSW Premier cricketer, especially with his form with the ball.
“It was a good first season in Sydney,” Meppem said.
“It was a good learning experience to go down there and play against the best.
“There are first graders that play second grade, especially when all the first class players come back, you get a few strong teams to come up against.
“Second grade was good, we still played on the same decks as first grade.
“They use a different ball than first grade, the second grade ball moves a lot more and it has got more of a seam than the first grade one.”
The challenges came thick and fast early in the season.
On his first grade debut against Manly Warringah on November 11 and 18 he bowled to the Crosthwaite brothers - James and Adam - as well as NSW and Sydney Thunder allrounder Chris Green.
Meppem said that match was one of the best memories that he made during the season.
“It was a good experience, I didn’t get any wickets but it was amazing to make my first grade debut in a good team against a good team.,” he said.
“It was also good to get the win, it was a thrilling win.”
Another one of Meppem’s best memories for Gordon was the Poidevin-Gray Shield campaign.
The Poidevin-Gray Shield is an under-21 competition, which includes all clubs in NSW Premier Cricket.
Gordon made it all the way to the grand final, where it went down against Penrith.
“We ended up coming second, it was a good learning curve for all us boys to make the grand final of 20 teams in a very strong comp,” Meppem said.
“There are some contracted players in that.
“The better team on the day one but to play against the best under-21s in Sydney, I can take a lot out of that.”