SANDHURST ruckman Tim Martin has bucked a long-running trend by winning the Michelsen Medal for best and fairest in the Bendigo Football League.
Martin capped a great return to the Dragons in 2013 by polling 23 votes to win the prestigious award.
The medal victory was the first by a ruckman since Kyneton's Graham Clark in 1977.
Sunday's vote count in The Conservatory at the All Seasons was dominated by the Dragons star across the last five rounds.
At the halfway mark, Strathfieldsaye Storm's Wayne Schultz led the way on 14 votes.
Schultz won the medal when at Castlemaine in 2011.
The race for the 2013 award was closely fought.
With votes from the last six games to be called, Schultz was being hotly pursued by Martin and Kangaroo Flat onballer Mitchell Hough 12; Golden Square's Simon Rosa, 11; and Gisborne captain Casey Summerfield on 10.
Three votes to Martin in the 14th round put him in front.
His superb play in the Dragons winning run included two votes in the 15th round and the maximum three a week later.
At two rounds to go, Martin and Schultz were on 20 and 15 votes.
Schultz picked up two in the 17th round and Martin earned none.
Three votes for Martin in the final round clinched a memorable victory.
Michelsen medallists from Sandhurst include Brendan Hartney, Kevin Curran, Brian Walsh, Frank and Lee Coghlan.
Top six in this year's Michelsen Medal:
23 Tim Martin (Sandhurst), 17 Wayne Schultz (Strathfieldsaye), 16 Simon Rosa (Golden Square), 13 Mitchell Dole (Sandhurst), 13 Mark Lloyd (Golden Square), 12 Mitchell Hough (Kangaroo Flat).