Irymple wins SFNL senior grand final

Irymple have won the SFNL senior football grand final in a thriller, defeating Imperials by seven points.

The Swallows trailed by five points going into the final term but came home strong on a warm afternoon at City Oval, to claim victory 9.12 (66) to 8.11 (59).

The John Groves Medal was awarded to Ben Galbraith of Imperials.

The AFL Victoria Medal was awarded to Nick Pezzaniti of Irymple, whose pair of goals early in the final quarter swung the game in his side's favour.

In the first term, Imperials drew first blood through an Alex Douglas goal, but Irymple soon responded with a Ryan Dowdy major.

In a low-scoring quarter, a 50-metre penalty for infringing Jarrod McNally's protected area proved costly for the Swallows, allowing the big man an easy goal square set shot.

At the other end, the Swallows couldn't quite capitalise on chances to take the lead, trailing by three at the first change of ends.

Irymple wasted no time getting things moving in the second quarter as Ben Duscher won the first clearance and sent it to the advantage of Dan Coghlan, who swung around to put his side in front.

James Flack calmly slotted a long-range set shot and Nick Pezzaniti snapped truly to continue their side's hot start.

The Swallows were generating the bulk of the quarter's inside 50s, but a well-timed kick from Imps' Jayden Fox set up a Jordan Bates goal against the run of play.

Sam Butterworth then landed a 50m shot soon after and a pair of late-term goals from Ryan Hards and Fox sent the Green and Whites into the main break with an eight-point advantage.

It was more of an arm-wrestle in the third quarter, broken up by Irymple's Michael Dimasi and Imps' Mason Middleton each kicking their first.

The crucial goal came when Dowdy kicked his second, bringing the Swallows back within a kick.

With a quarter to play Imperials led 7.7 (49) to 6.8 (44).

Irymple seized the ascendancy in the opening moments of the final term after Pezzaniti sent through an impressive long-range effort from the 50m arc.

Another Pezzaniti set shot minutes later sent the Swallows further in front.

Pressure turned up and fatigue setting in, on a warm and sunny 24-degree afternoon, both sides produced desperate efforts.

However, goals were hard to come by, especially for the trailing Imps, who struggled to finish off their best opportunities.

Flack appeared to seal it for the Swallows when he ran in for a late goal, however a response at the other end from Fox ensured some nervous final minutes.

Irymple held their nerve to win by seven points.