Dynamic Richmond midfielder Dustin Martin has won the 2016 Jack Dyer Medal.
Martin took out the Tigers’ Best and Fairest award for the first time, in a thrilling count held this evening at the Crown Palladium.
He polled 62 votes, to edge out last year’s Jack Dyer Medallist Alex Rance by just one vote (61).
Captain Trent Cotchin finished third on 51 votes, star key forward Jack Riewoldt was fourth with 43 votes and Shaun Grigg was fifth on 35 votes.
Cotchin led the count up to Richmond’s bye in Round 13, with 33 votes, from Martin, 30 votes, Rance, 29 votes, while Riewoldt and Grigg were in equal fourth place at that stage on 27 votes apiece.
Martin, however, struck a rich vein of form after the break, polling the maximum five votes three times in the last 10 rounds, to get home by the smallest possible margin from the Tigers’ brilliant key defender, who also racked up five votes on three occasions during the second half of the season.
The Jack Dyer Medal triumph capped a superb season by Martin, who last week received his inaugural All Australian blazer.
Martin had gone close to claiming Richmond’s Best and Fairest several times previously, finishing runner-up in 2013 and 2015 and third in 2011 and 2014.
The 25-year-old took his game to an even higher level in 2016, averaging 31.1 disposals per match, with a career-high 43 touches against Essendon in Round 17 at the MCG.
He had 30 disposals or more on 14 occasions, including in 10 of his last 11 games.
At the completion of the home-and-away rounds, Martin was ranked fourth in the competition for total disposals and fifth for inside-50s.
Among the Richmond players, he was ranked No. 1 for total disposals, No. 1 for contested possessions, No. 1 for uncontested possessions, No. 1 for inside-50s, No. 2 for clearances, No. 2 for centre clearances and No. 2 for rebound-50s.
Rance averaged 18.6 disposals and 7.8 marks per game in his 20 appearances throughout the 2016 season with the Tigers.
He had 20 disposals or more eight times, with a season-high 26 touches against West Coast at Domain Stadium in Round 4, against GWS at StarTrack Oval in Round 19, and against Collingwood at the MCG in Round 20.
Competition-wide, he was ranked fourth in total marks and sixth for one-percenters.
Within the Richmond playing group, Rance was ranked No. 1 for total marks, No. 1 for rebound-50s, No. 2 for contested marks and No. 6 for total disposals.
Cotchin averaged 27.0 disposals per game this season, racking up a career-high 39 touches in the Round 9 victory over Fremantle at Domain Stadium.
The triple Jack Dyer Medallist was ranked No. 1 at Tigerland for clearances, No. 2 for total disposals, No. 3 for inside-50s, equal No. 3 for rebound-50s and fourth for uncontested possessions.
Riewoldt, who won the Jack Dyer Medal in 2010, kicked 48 goals this season, averaged 6.4 marks per game, and was ranked fourth in the competition for total marks inside 50.
Grigg maintained an impressive level of consistency throughout season 2016, averaging 24.3 disposals and 5.3 marks per game.
Under the Jack Dyer Medal voting system, all of the team’s players on match day receive a rating from 0-5 based on their overall performance.
The match committee assesses each player’s offensive, defensive, and contest impacts on the game.
After those game phases have been analysed, the 0-5 rating is given, as a joint match committee decision.
Votes are not allocated for what the match committee deems a below-average performance.
2016 Jack Dyer Medal top 20
1st Dustin Martin, 62 votes
2nd Alex Rance, 61 votes
3rd Trent Cotchin, 51 votes
4th Jack Riewoldt, 43 votes
5th Shaun Grigg, 35 votes
6th Anthony Miles, 31 votes
Equal 7th Dylan Grimes, 30 votes
Equal 7th Brandon Ellis, 30 votes
9th Nick Vlastuin, 29 votes
10th Brett Deledio, 28 votes
11th David Astbury, 27 votes
Equal 12th Shane Edwards, 26 votes
Equal 12th Sam Lloyd, 26 votes
Equal 12th Shaun Hampson, 26 votes
15th Taylor Hunt, 25 votes
16th Daniel Rioli, 21 votes
17th Bachar Houli, 18 votes
Equal 18th Ty Vickery, 15 votes
Equal 18th Steven Morris, 15 votes
20th Ben Griffiths, 14 votes