By Peter Blucher
Dayne Beams has claimed the fourth top ten Brownlow Medal finish of his career to head the 2018 Queensland vote-count.
Beams polled 18 votes in the medal count in Melbourne last night to finish equal eighth as Hawthorn’s Tom Mitchell (28 votes) won from Collingwood’s Steele Sidebottom (24) and Melbourne bolter Angus Brayshaw (21).
In a dominating performance, the Brisbane Lions ace polled three times as many votes as the next best Queenslander, and more than a third of the total Queensland vote of 49 votes.
Others to poll were Brisbane teammates Dayne Zorko (6), Eric Hipwood (6) and Harris Andrews (2), Port Adelaide key forward Charlie Dixon (3), Collingwood grand final half forward Josh Thomas (3), Gold Coast’s Jarrod Harbrow (3), Lachie Weller (3) and Alex Sexton (1),, Sydney’s Aliir Aliir (3) and St.Kilda’s David Armitage (1).
Beams’ 18 votes came after he polled 19 in 2012, 16 in 2014 and 17 in 2017.
Hs equal 8th place came after he was equal 7th in 2012, equal 9th in 2014 and 10th in 2017.
It was a performance that came after Beams went through such personal angst following the death of his father in March that he stepped down from the captaincy after Round 8.
Amazingly, it was from that point on that he charged up the Brownlow leaderboard, and from Round 9 only Brayshaw polled more votes. Two more.
Beams, now with 88 career votes to trail only Nick Riewoldt (153), Michael Voss (150), Jason Dunstall (129) and Jason Akermanis (107) on the all-time Queensland leaderboard, polled nine times, including three best afield three-vote ratings.
After two votes in his first game under replacement captain Zorko in the breakthrough win over Hawthorn at the Gabba he polled maximum votes In Round 10 against Sydney at the SCG, when he had 38 possessions, one goal and nine clearances in an 18-point loss.
He earned three votes in the 55-point Round 15 win over Fremantle in Perth, when he had 33 possessions and 12 clearances, and three votes in the four-point Q-Clash win at the Gold Coast in Round 22, when he had 38 possessions and a goal.
Oddly, he only received two votes for a season-high 40 possessions and a goal in the Round 16 Gabba win over Carlton, when he was voted best afield by the coaches.
Hipwood twice received three votes after he kicked four goals in the first win over Hawthorn and six goals against Carlton.
Zorko polled three votes in the heart-breaking Round 20 Gabba loss to North Melbourne, when he had 35 possessions, two goals and 10 tackles.
Andrews, included with Beams in the preliminary 40-man All-Australian squad before both missed selection in the final team, polled his two votes in the Round 12 clash with Essendon at the Gabba after had been voted best afield by the coaches.
First-time Queensland vote-getters were Aliir and Sexton.\
Aliir, who finished the season in excellent fashion after winning back his place in the Sydney side, polled two votes in a losing Round 19 effort against Essendon, and one vote in a Round 21 win over Melbourne.
Sexton’s first vote came in his 96th career game in Round 22 against Brisbane at Metricon Stadium, when he kicked four goals in a beaten side.
Harbrow got the first Queensland votes of the season in the Suns’ Round 1 win over North Melbourne in Cairns, while Weller earned his first three-vote rating and his first Suns votes when judged best afield in their shock win over Sydney in Sydney in Round 18.
Dixon, as expected, earned three votes when he kicked a season-high five goals in Port’s Round 19 win over Western Bulldogs in Ballarat. In two games in the old gold mining town he has polled five votes.
Thomas, set to play in Saturday’s grand final against West Coast, earned one vote for a career-best five goals against Carlton in Round 3 and two votes against Gold Coast in Round 15, when he had 22 possessions and kicked four goals.
Armitage, whose career at St.Kilda is uncertain, polled one vote against Port Adelaide in Round 16 when he had 30 possessions and kicked three goals. He now has 40 career votes.