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Oliver wins ‘Bluey’ in emphatic win

Matt Burgan  October 9, 2017 10:39 PM

Best and Fairest: Clayton Oliver highlights Take a look at the highlights of Clayton Oliver after winning the 2017 Keith 'Bluey' Truscott Memorial Trophy

CLAYTON Oliver has capped off a brilliant second season, running away with the 2017 Keith ‘Bluey’ Truscott Memorial Trophy at Crown Palladium on Monday night.

The second-year ball-winner won Melbourne’s best and fairest in emphatic style, securing 530 votes to win the award by a whopping 184 votes.

Last year’s winner, Jack Viney, finished runner-up with 346 votes to claim the Sid Anderson Memorial Trophy.

There was a tie for third place, with triple best and fairest winner Nathan Jones and four-time premiership player Jordan Lewis both claiming the Ron Barassi Senior Memorial Trophy, after they each polled 327 votes.

Rounding out the top five was much-admired defender Neville Jetta, who claimed 321 votes.

Melbourne’s best and fairest votes were cast by four members of Melbourne’s match committee, who gave players a score from zero to 10 for each game.

After finishing equal 19th in his first AFL season last year, Oliver had an outstanding second season and never looked like losing Melbourne’s best and fairest.

He polled in every match this season and had the most votes in seven of Melbourne’s 22 matches.

On top of his first ‘Bluey’, Oliver was awarded the 2017 AFL Coaches’ Association best young player of the year and finished seventh overall in this season’s AFLCA player of the year votes.

The 35-gamer also finished with the most handballs, second most contested possessions, third most clearances, fourth most tackles and fifth most disposals in the competition this season.

On 12 occasions, he had 30 disposals or more in a match this season.

But remarkably, he was left out of this year’s All-Australian squad of 40.

And at just 20 years old, Oliver is one of the club’s youngest winners of the best and fairest award, with Terry Leahy holding that honour at just 19 years old and 354 days for his 1966 win.

For Viney, it was his third consecutive top three finish – an outstanding effort for a 23-year-old.

In 2015, he finished second after being pipped by one vote, when Bernie Vince won Melbourne’s best and fairest award.

Last year, Viney won his first ‘Bluey’ by eight votes, when he edged out three-time winner Jones.

At the same time, he created club history as the first father/son combination to win a best and fairest at Melbourne, with his Dad, Todd, winning two Truscott Memorial Trophies in 1993 and 1998.

With Jones finishing equal third, it meant it was the sixth time in his career he has claimed a top three placing.

Jones has now finished first three times (2012-14), second (2007 and 2016) and third (2017).

Lewis’ third placing was a fine result in his first year at Melbourne and the third time he has claimed a top three finish in his AFL career, after winning Hawthorn’s best and fairest in 2014 and finishing runner-up in 2016.

As Jones and Lewis tied for third place, no Ivor Warne Smith Memorial Trophy for fourth place was awarded.

Jetta won the Dick Taylor Memorial Trophy for finishing fifth, which was his best finish in a Melbourne best and fairest count.

Rounding out the top 10 was 2017 All-Australian Michael Hibberd on 318 votes, young-gun Christian Petracca (302), 2017 Melbourne leading goalkicking Jeff Garlett (284), key forward/defender Tom McDonald (278) and midfielder Dom Tyson (275).

From 11th to 20th, the order was Alex Neal-Bullen on 263 votes, Jayden Hunt (256), Bernie Vince (240), Mitch Hannan (216), Sam Frost (211), Jake Melksham (201), James Harmes (297), Oscar McDonald and Cam Pedersen (196), and Christian Salem (178).

From there, Jack Watts was next with 172 votes, followed by Max Gawn (138), Jesse Hogan (122), Tom Bugg (102), Billy Stretch (76), Angus Brayshaw (59), Josh Wagner (52), Sam Weideman (36), Dean Kent (30), Jake Spencer (20) and Jay Kennedy-Harris and Jack Trengove (eight).

2017 Melbourne best and fairest results

First: Keith ‘Bluey’ Truscott Memorial Trophy – Clayton Oliver (530 votes)

Second: Sid Anderson Memorial Trophy – Jack Viney (346)

Third: Ron Barassi Senior Memorial Trophy – Nathan Jones and Jordan Lewis (327)

Fourth: Ivor Warne Smith Memorial Trophy – Not awarded due to third place tie

Fifth: Dick Taylor Memorial Trophy – Neville Jetta (321)

6 – Michael Hibberd (318)

7 – Christian Petracca (302)

8 – Jeff Garlett (284)

9 – Tom McDonald (278)

10 – Dom Tyson (275)

11 – Alex Neal-Bullen (263)

12 – Jayden Hunt (256)

13 – Bernie Vince (240)

14 – Mitch Hannan (216)

15 – Sam Frost (211)

16 – Jake Melksham (201)

17 – James Harmes (197)

18 – Oscar McDonald and Cam Pedersen (196)

20 – Christian Salem (178)

21 – Jack Watts (172)

22 – Max Gawn (138)

23 – Jesse Hogan (122)

24 – Tom Bugg (102)

25 – Billy Stretch (76)

26 – Angus Brayshaw (59)

27 – Josh Wagner (52)

28 – Sam Weideman (36)

29 – Dean Kent (30)

30 – Jake Spencer (20)

31 – Jay Kennedy-Harris and Jack Trengove (8)