At age 30, Shawn Mepham has found his groove.
Key to that is his job. Having just entered his second year as boarding master at Calrossy Anglican School, Mepham has spoken about his “love” for the “awesome” job – and he is as surprised as anyone to find himself in that position.
“School wasn’t my thing [as a child], which makes it ironic [for me] to work at a school,” he said. “I’m probably the biggest kid in the house,” he joked. “That’s why it fits so well.”
Mepham has a background in youth work and has been a long-standing Cricket NSW development officer.
His good headspace and a desire to “step up” at West Tamworth has led to a form spike this season. He lined up for Wests in the one-day final against Old Boys at No.1 Oval on Friday night and will play in the two-dayer against City United that starts at Riverside 2 on Saturday.
With the run to the grand final heating up, Mepham is a key cog in a third-placed Wests side who Old Boys allrounder Mitchell Swain rightly labelled the competition’s “surprise packet”.
Now in his third season with Wests, the former Glen Innes skipper, who joined the club after a two-year stint playing in England, has scored 186 runs in six first-grade innings this season at an average of 31 – double his average from last season and also a substantial improvement on his 20.65 career average in Tamworth.
He has two 50s this season with a highest score of 74.
He has also claimed six wickets in the mere 10 overs he has bowled this season, including 4-11 in a one-day loss to Old Boys at No.1 Oval on January 13.
“Things are starting to click,” he said. “I’m happy to try and build an innings instead of trying to make an innings, I suppose.
“The last couple of season I’ve just played some really silly shots very early on. I still had those sort of innings this year as well but I’m lucky to have had a few innings batting with [Wests captain] Dave Mudaliar and other senior blokes who help keep you focused on the job at hand.”
Mepham said “being a senior player, now it’s time to step up and put some runs on the board”.
“Hopefully that happens tomorrow [Saturday],” he added.