Tallygaroopna pulled off a heist to claim a thrilling two-point win in the under-18 Kyabram District Football League grand final.
The Redlegs were 14 points down early in the final quarter when Thomas Cooper slotted his fourth goal for Merrigum.
But Tallygaroopna never gave up, with Adam Brophy kicking the sealer for the Redlegs in the dying stages sending the bench and coaches Tait Collins and Trent Cordy into raptures.
Merrigum had been the dominant team all year, only losing once during the season to Lancaster in round one.
But the Bulldogs’ attempt to win back-to-back thirds premierships was thwarted by a team they defeated in the second semi-final just two weeks earlier.
It was Tallygaroopna’s first under-18 flag since 2011.
The Redlegs trailed at every break, with Merrigum failing to put them away in the first quarter by having seven scoring shots to one and only leading by 16 points.
Oskar Henderson was exceptional for Tallygaroopna, leading by example with two goals.
Brophy, the matchwinner, also starred, as did Rhys Lancaster, Darcy Collins, Tristan Miller and Will Sandland for the Redlegs.
For Merrigum, Cooper was his side’s best in a clinical display up forward, while Samuel Barbagallo, Samuel Langley, Tyler Schoots, Christopher Zampaglione and Jack Cordingley also played well in trying conditions.