As the curtain falls on another AFL home and away season, it also comes down on what promises to be a hotly contested 2013 Brownlow Medal.
If all transpires as expected, Gary Ablett will be leading all comers at the midpoint of the season until he hits a form slump, but from then on it remains a mystery as to what will happen next. At that same point in time, a resurgent Joel Selwood hit a rich vein of form and catapulted his name into Brownlow calculations, along with the likes of rank outsiders Dane Swan, Scott Pendlebury, Sam Mitchell and Kieren Jack.
What will help Ablett’s cause is, of course, being almost assured of the three votes for his best-on-ground performance against GWS on the weekend. And with Selwood and the like hot on his tail, they couldn’t have come at a better time.
The question remains; will it be enough to win him the medal and fend off the Geelong captain along with the other top contenders?
Keep an eye on boundforglorynews.com over the coming weeks leading up to Brownlow night for an exclusive look at our Phantom Brownlow Leaderboard, featuring all the team votes, including a vote breakdown of the top contenders we think are in the running to walk away with the ‘Charlie’.
Sydney vs. Hawthorn
Jarryd Roughead sealed the Coleman Medal with a dominant game up forward for the Hawks, kicking 4.3 and taking six marks among 16 disposals.
Kieren Jack was the most influential in the Swans loss, picking up 27 disposals (10 contested), four clearances, five tackles, 13 inside 50s and a goal.
Sam Mitchell also rounded off his solid season in style, playing off the halfback flank and in the middle to accumulate 26 disposals, four clearances, three rebound 50s, three tackles and a goal.
3. J. Roughead
2. K. Jack
1. S. Mitchell
St Kilda vs. Fremantle
It was hard to split best-on-ground honours, particularly when a side has a win in excess of 70 points, but even more so when the top two players each have 94 disposals between them.
Leigh Montagna was the first to catch the eye, collecting a massive 47 disposals (seven contested), 12 marks, three tackles, 12 inside 50s and two goals.
Jack Steven was the other accumulator in what was a day out for the Saints midfield. He finished with 47 disposals (15 contested), six marks, six clearances, four tackles, three inside 50s and a goal.
Nick Dal Santo rounded out the midfield dominance and may be the lucky recipient of the one vote among a raffle of other Saint players, as he picked up 34 disposals (13 contested) and five marks.
3. L. Montagna
2. J. Steven
1. N. Dal Santo
Geelong vs. Brisbane
Jimmy Bartel led the way for the Cats in their narrow win against Brisbane. He finished with 35 disposals (11 contested), eight marks, five rebound 50s, seven inside 50s and a goal.
After kicking the winning goal against the Cats earlier in the season, Ash McGrath again proved a menace, kicking 6.1 in a near flawless game.
Also for Geelong, Mathew Stokes ran rampant with 35 disposals (13 contested), six marks, three clearances and seven inside 50s.
3. J. Bartel
2. A. McGrath
1. M. Stokes
Port Adelaide vs. Carlton
It was a ‘great escape’ type win for Carlton as they stole the match from Port Adelaide’s grasp at the death to seal their spot in the top eight.
Brad Ebert was in fine touch early for Port before fading out late in the match. He finished with 23 disposals (eight contested), five marks, five clearances and 4.1.
Carlton captain Marc Murphy’s turnaround in form could have come at a more appropriate time, with the skipper picking up 23 disposals (10 contested), five marks, three clearances, five tackles, four inside 50s and three goals in a game-changing performance.
The much-maligned Bryce Gibbs is another who came out of the blocks to perform for Carlton with 26 disposals (14 contested), nine clearances, nine inside 50s and a goal.
3. B. Ebert
2. M. Murphy
1. B. Gibbs
Essendon vs. Richmond
Youngster Brandon Ellis capped off his brilliant season with an undeniably impressive showing comprised of 35 disposals (two contested), 16 marks and three inside 50s.
Daniel Jackson also continues to impress in his turn-around in form this season, picking up 30 disposals (14 contested), eight marks, four clearances, eight inside 50s and two goals.
Tigers captain Trent Cotchin is another who caught the eye with 29 disposals (11 contested), seven marks, seven clearances and six inside 50s.
3. B. Ellis
2. D. Jackson
1. T. Cotchin
West Coast vs. Adelaide
Patrick Dangerfield proved a force up forward and running through the centre, kicking 3.2 among 29 disposals (17 contested), eight marks, six clearances and three inside 50s.
Scott Thompson was also very effective in the middle, accruing 33 disposals (10 contested), four marks, five clearances, five tackles, six inside 50s and 2.1.
Young Crow Brad Crouch impressed as well, finishing with 29 disposals (11 contested), four marks, three clearances, five tackles, seven inside 50s and two goals.
3. P. Dangerfield
2. S. Thompson
1. B. Crouch
Gold Coast vs. GWS
It was the type of game Suns captain Gary Ablett was in desperate need in order to keep his Brownlow ambitions alive. In a near flawless game, Ablett accumulated 33 disposals (13 contested), five marks, six clearances, three tackles, four inside 50s and 4.1.
Dion Prestia also starred for the Suns, picking up 33 disposals (15 contested), four marks, eight clearances, seven tackles, seven inside 50s and a goal.
Michael Rischitelli was another who was highly effective, finishing with 25 disposals (12 contested), seven marks, seven clearances, six tackles and 2.2.
3. G. Ablett
2. D. Prestia
1. M. Rischitelli
Collingwood vs. North Melbourne
Scott Pendlebury was at his sublime best despite his side’s loss to the Roos. He finished with 33 disposals (13 contested), six marks, four clearances, four tackles, four inside 50s and two goals.
Meanwhile, for the Roos, Jack Ziebell was just as outstanding, picking up 27 disposals (10 contested), seven marks, five clearances, five tackles and four goals.
Ryan Bastinac also put in a solid performance that could see him in the votes. He finished with 34 disposals (12 contested), six marks, five clearances, six tackles, five inside 50s and 1.1.
3. S. Pendlebury
2. J. Ziebell
1. R. Bastinac
Western Bulldogs vs. Melbourne
Youngster Tom Liberatore put the icing on what has been a brilliant season of redemption for the young Bulldog. Thriving on the contested ball as always, Libba accumulated 36 disposals (20 contested), 12 clearances, 11 tackles, four inside 50s and a goal.
Matthew Boyd, meanwhile, racked up the ball at will with 40 disposals (15 contested), eight marks, nine clearances, four rebound 50s and five inside 50s.
Also combining well through the middle was Adam Cooney, picking up 30 disposals, 10 marks, three tackles and two goals in a solid performance.
3. T. Liberatore
2. M. Boyd
1. A. Cooney