A disappointing Mildura after being minor premiers bowed out of the 2017 season competition in straight sets after a tougher and more committed Irymple beat them by 31 points at Mildura’s Number One Oval on Saturday.
It was an even first quarter before Irymple opened up a four goal break at half time but Mildura wasted opportunity after opportunity in the third term by kicking 1.7 for the term.
The Swallows moved height into the forward line with Will Callow going to full forward and Victor Caristo at centre half forward.
It forced Mildura to move Anthony Mathews to centre half back in the first term but that plan went astray when Dustin Gordon, after kicking an early goal, collided with an opposing player and came off with a dislocated shoulder.
Mathews was forced to return forward leaving the Demon defence with a height problem, which eventually brought them undone.
The Swallows used Brady Oliver in the ruck against Mildura big man Craig Beggs and he did an exceptional job at the stoppages.
The game was still in the balance at three quarter time given the way Ouyen United had rallied the previous week.
But the Demons were lack lustre in the last term and never really showed the heart or courage to win a game from behind.
Apart from Andrew Richardson and Beggs, who never gave up, the Demons let themselves down with their inability to chase and get the hard ball.
Richardson was injured towards the end when he fearlessly made a contest and was crunched.
He was taken to Mildura Base Hospital at games end with a suspected punctured lung and broken ribs.
Nathan Hammence made a great return to the senior side with a hard tackling and dogged effort.
The Swallows rested Brad Eaton in the last term, saving his engery for his last performance in Sunraysia Football in next week’s Grand Final.
The Demons had gone into the match without McLeod Medalist Josh Martin, who suffered a hamstring injury. He was replaced in the selected side by Dylan Murphy.
In the reserves Irymple survived a late challenge from Robinvale Euston to win by just nine points.
In the thirds a poorly disciplined Robinvale-Euston were bundled out of the finals race when defeated by under dogs Mildura.
The Eagles gave away too many 50 metres penalties and a further infringement in the second quarter when Mildura’s Tom Whitehouse was given a bonus kick, resulting in two goals