Brisbane Lions captain Dayne Beams has pipped teammate Dayne Zorko to top the Queensland vote in the 2017 Brownlow Medal as retiring St.Kilda great Nick Riewoldt finished his career the leading Queensland vote-getter all-time.
Beams polled 17 votes in a stunning count in Melbourne on Monday night to finish three ahead of Zorko in the battle for Queensland medal superiority as Richmond ace Dustin Martin polled a record 36 votes to win the game’s most prestigious individual award.
Martin polled three votes in the last round of the season to go past the 35-vote haul in 2016 of Geelong’s Patrick Dangerfield, who was ineligible this year but polled 33 votes.
He became the first player ever to poll 30 votes in consecutive years.
Beams was 10th in the vote-count behind Martin, Dangerfield, Hawthorn’s Tom Mitchell (25), Sydney’s Josh Kennedy (23) and Lance Franklin (22), GWS’s Josh Kelly (21), Adelaide’s Rory Sloane (20), Western Bulldogs Marcus Bontempelli (19) and Port Adelaide’s Ollie Wines (18).
Riewoldt polled four votes to finish his magnificent career on 153, over-taking ex-Brisbane 1996 medallist Michael Voss (153) at the top of the all-time Queensland tally board.
Other Queenslanders to figure in the count last night were Port Adelaide’s Charlie Dixon (8), Gold Coast’s Jarrod Harbrow (2), Brisbane’s Eric Hipwood (2) and Geelong’s Zac Smith (1).
The retiring Riewoldt polled three votes when he had 28 disposals and three goals against Brisbane at Docklands in Round 3 to become the 28th player in AFL history to top 150 votes.
Dixon polled his best season tally, which included three votes against Brisbane at the Gabba in Round 6 when he had 20 disposals and four goals, taking his career total to 20.
Hipwood picked up the first votes in what shapes as a glittering career when he polled two votes for 12 possessions and an equal career-best four goals in a come-from-behind win against Essendon at Docklands in Round 15.
Smith polled his first votes as a Geelong player against Carlton at Docklands in Round 19, when he had 23 possessions and two goals.
But as a contest for Queensland superiority it was a race in two between the two Daynes.
At Round 16 Zorko had 11 votes to head Beams on eight, but Beams polled four times in the last six rounds to run over the top of the 2017 All-Australian and Lions club champion, who polled only once in the last six rounds.
Ironically, Beams, originally from the Gold Coast, posted his only two three-vote ratings against the Gold Coast.
He had an inspirational 28 possessions in the Lions’ two-point Round 1 win at Metricon, and 32 votes and four goals in the 58-point win at the Gabba in Round 21.
Zorko had four best afield ratings, including the 32-point Round 5 loss to the Bulldogs at Docklands when he had 32 disposals and two goals.
He also picked up three votes in wins over Fremantle at the Gabba in Round 12 (30 disposals, two goals), Essendon at Docklands in Round 15 (30 disposals, two goals) and Carlton at the Gabba in Round 18 (26 disposals, three goals).
Beams’ 17-vote haul was his third in double figures after 19 in 2012 and 16 in 2014 at Collingwood, and took his career vote tally to 70.
This puts him fifth on the all-time Queensland vote list behind Riewoldt (153), Voss (150), Jason Dunstall (129) and 2001 winner Jason Akermanis (107).
Zorko’s career-best vote of 14 haul took his career total to 41. He is now sixth on the all-time Queensland list ahead of David Armitage (39), Gavin Crosisca (24), Kurt Tippett (22), and Scott McIvor (22).
Also above 20 votes are Marcus Ashcroft (21), Mitch Hahn (20), Hawthorn’s Stephen Lawrence (20) and Dixon (20). Harbrow has 18.
Coincidentally, Brisbane and the Gold Coast each polled 47 votes in the 2017 count.
Behind Beams and Zorko at the Lions were Stefan Martin (6), Daniel Rich (4), Tom Rockliff (2), Hipwood (2), Lewis Taylor (1) and Ryan Lester (1).
Gary Ablett topped the Gold Coast vote with 14 votes from Aaron Hall (10),, Jarryd Lyons (6), Tom Lynch (4), Brandon Matera (3), Michael Barlow (2), Pearce Hanley (2), Harbrow (2), Steven May (2), Adam Saad (1) and Jarrod Witts (1).
Ablett’s 14 votes saw him jump clear of retiring West Coast and ex-Hawthorn champion Sam Mitchell at the top of the AFL’s all-time vote tally, adjusted to remove the inflated impact of double votes in 1976-77.
Ablett now has 234 to lead from Mitchell (227),Gary Dempsey (218.5), Robert Harvey (215), Chris Judd (210), Leigh Matthews (202), Brent Harvey (191), Dane Swan (186), Simon Black (184) and Joel Selwood (181), who polled 13 votes last night to move to 10th on the all-time list.
Then comes Bob Skilton (180), Nathan Buckley (178), Kevin Murray (178), Scott West (175), Bill Hutchison (172), Keith Greig (165), Scott Pendlebury (165), Adam Goodes (163), Garry Wilson (161), Kevin Bartlett (160), Shane Crawford (160), retiring Melbourne and Adelaide midfielder Scott Thompson (155), Dick Reynolds (154), Greg Williams (154), Nick Riewoldt (153), Len Thompson (151), Robert Flower (150) and Michael Voss (150).
Interestingly, Ablett, who won the medal at Geelong in 2009 before doing likewise at the Gold Coast in 2013, now has more votes as a Gold Coast player than a Geelong player.
He polled 112 votes in 192 games at the Cats, and has 122 votes in 110 games at the Suns.
By Peter Blucher