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Scotland the top Blue

Carlton veteran Heath Scotland won his first best and fairest award on Tuesday night

CARLTON veteran Heath Scotland has won his first club best and fairest award in his 14th AFL season.

In a tight count at Crown Palladium on Tuesday night, Scotland claimed the John Nicholls Medal with 362 votes to pip Eddie Betts (353) and skipper Chris Judd (334).

The rejuvenated Brock McLean, who played just once in the opening nine rounds, stormed home to finish fourth (321), comfortably clear of Marc Murphy (299).

Three-time winner Judd missed five games, including a four-match suspension for a 'chicken wing' tackle on North Melbourne's Leigh Adams, while Murphy was sidelined for six with a shoulder injury.

The award wasn't decided until the final round.

Betts held a five-vote lead but managed just three votes to Scotland's 17 in the spiteful round-23 clash with St Kilda at Etihad Stadium.

Scotland's previous best effort in a club award was runner-up in 2007, after finishing third the year before.

Last month, Scotland - who turned 32 in June -
re-signed with Carlton for the 2013 season.

The 244-gamer missed just one match this season and led the Blues in disposals with 553 - at an average of 26.3 a game.

Betts, Carlton’s only All Australian nominee this season, was the club's leading goalkicker with 48 - at a career-best average of 2.2 a game.

Other award winners included Tom Bell (best first-year player), Brock McLean (the Blues Coterie "Most Determined" award and Inner Blue Ruthless award) and Dennis Armfield (best clubman and the Spirit of Carlton award).
 
Chris Yarran was recognised for winning the AFL 2012 Goal of the Year for his brilliant, bouncing run against Richmond in round one.

Kade Simpson was also honoured for achieving a club record of 158 consecutive games between round 15, 2005, and round 15 this year.
 
2012 John Nicholls Medal

1st    Heath Scotland         362
2nd   Eddie Betts              353
3rd    Chris Judd               334
4th    Brock McLean        321
5th    Marc Murphy          299
6th    Andrew Carrazzo    287
7th    Kade Simpson         229
8th    Bryce Gibbs            228
9th    Mitch Robinson      205
10th  Matthew Kreuzer    163