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Dayne pips Dayne for fourth straight Lion crown

Dayne Zorko won his fourth straight best and fairest - AFL,Brisbane Lions,Dayne Beams,Dayne Zorko
Dayne Zorko won his fourth straight best and fairest

A SHOCKED Dayne Zorko has won his fourth consecutive Merrett-Murray Medal, taking out Brisbane's best and fairest by a solitary vote from Dayne Beams.

Zorko polled 250 votes, edging out Beams (249) and ruckman Stefan Martin (242).

Defenders Darcy Gardiner and Harris Andrews rounded out the top five despite missing multiple games due to injury.

The only other person to achieve four straight wins in club history is Kevin Murray – who presented Zorko with his medal at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Saturday night – who won five straight Club Champions for Fitzroy from 1960-64.

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Beams started the night a warm favourite to win, but Zorko got home and could hardly believe his success.

"I can't believe it," Zorko told AFL.com.au.

"It's pretty incredible. There was 10 guys on that list that had a genuine case to win that medal."

After being overlooked for four consecutive drafts before being snapped up by the Lions in 2011, Zorko is in the midst of an incredible career.

He said winning four in a row had not sunk in.

"I think that's what got me emotional.

"It's rare. I get goosebumps just talking about it. I guess I don't understand it all.

"It's going to be great to go into the history books with some of the greats of the Fitzroy Football Club, Brisbane Lions Football Club and the AFL.

"I'm still in shock. I genuinely can't believe it."

'The Magician' played in all 22 games, averaging 21 disposals, seven tackles and kicking a total of 26 goals.

Zorko had his troubles with taggers early in the season but figured a way through to become one of the Lions' most consistent performers.

He was also promoted to the captain's role once Beams stepped aside following the round nine win over Hawthorn.

Beams narrowly missed out on winning his second Merrett-Murray Medal after earlier in the week being named in the 40-man All Australian squad.

The 29-year-old averaged 29 disposals and kicked 18 goals.

Martin's third place continues a remarkable career revival the ruckman, making it four straight years in the top four, including being a joint winner in 2015.

Coach Chris Fagan and his five assistant coaches each give a maximum of four votes after each game based on the player's overall performance, delivery of team criteria and execution of team trademarks.

The maximum votes for any game is 24.

Alex Witherden, third in Friday's NAB Rising Star award, won the Rookie of the Year in his second season at the Gabba.

Marcus Ashcroft was in attendance and presented the Most Professional Player Award, named after him, to vice-captain Andrews, while Gardiner won the Shaun Hart Trademark Player of the Year, formerly known as the most competitive player.

Merrett-Murray Medal Top 10

1 - Dayne Zorko 250
2 – Dayne Beams 249
3 – Stefan Martin 242
4 – Darcy Gardiner 228
5 – Harris Andrews 208
6 – Jarrod Berry 205
7 – Hugh McCluggage 200
8 – Luke Hodge 185
9 – Nick Robertson 172
10 – Alex Witherden 170 

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