KILLARNEY journeyman Jamie Hore will play in his first senior cricket grand final tomorrow.
The first-year Crabs all-rounder joined the Grassmere Cricket Association club this season after 10 years away from the sport.
Killarney will aim for back-to-back one-day premierships when it meets Panmure Bulldogs, its 2011-12 grand final opponent, at Purnim.
Hore was born in Seymour and raised on the New South Wales central coast.
A footballer, the ruckman-cum-forward spent the past four seasons in Western Australia playing for Albany-based football club Railways.
Hore returned to Victoria last year and landed at Killarney this season thanks to friend Chris Fleming.
He has made an immediate impact at the Crabs, averaging 31.71 with the bat and taking 19 wickets at 9.53.
“I love it out there. There is a nice, peaceful atmosphere out there,” Hore said.
“I have played every game and am getting more consistency in my game, with my bowling more so.
“I have been going all right and making a few runs. I’m probably averaging about 30.
“It’s a bit hard with one-dayers, but now we’re into two-dayers you get more of a bat.”
Hore, whose last cricket club was New South Wales-based Lisarow-Ourimbih, said he wanted to make his mark in the final.
The middle order bat is coming off a duck last week after getting starts in his previous six innings.
“It’ll be good to put a bit back into the club,” he said.
“They have had faith in me and helped me get settled.
“We’ve played one game against Panmure and it was the only game we’ve lost this season in one-dayers.
“We need a few other people to step up.
“The older brigade are the ones doing it at the moment for Killarney.”
Hore said the Crabs wanted two-day success.
“I think we have more of a chance of winning the two-dayer and I know it’s the premiership the club is after,” he said.
“It’s been in the competition 27 years and I think it’s only won one B grade final.
“(The two-day flag) is what I am striving for and I know the club is too, but we’d take the one-day one along the way.”
Killarney captain Brett Halliwell said the Crabs’ bowling was their strength, while its batting needed to improve if it was to defeat the Bulldogs tomorrow.
“They are the benchmark and have beaten us already in a one-day game,” he said.
“We took our foot off the throttle a bit. If we don’t play our best cricket, we’re pretty ordinary.”
Bulldogs skipper Nathan Shand said the final shaped as a close battle.
“We are fairly excited and fairly confident after winning a couple of weeks ago,” he said. “They beat us in the last over last year, so it was a good, tight game.
“The last four or five games, especially one-dayers, against Killarney have been pretty tight.”
Today marks the start of round nine Grassmere competition.
Panmure Pups host Purnim, Wangoom plays Killarney, Yambuk meets Panmure Bulldogs and Grassmere hosts Hawkesdale.
The two-day fixture is the last round before the Christmas break.