NICK Rippon has become the fourth North Ballarat Rooster to be voted the Victorian Football League’s best and fairest.
The 21-year-old claimed the JJ Liston Trophy by one vote at the Crown Palladium on Monday night.
Rippon polled 15 votes to finish one ahead of teammate Myles Sewell, Richmond’s Matt Thomas, Sandringham’s Clint Jones and Sam Dunell from Williamstown.
He clinched the award with three votes in the Roosters’ last round 42-point win over Coburg. Sewell received two votes in the same game.
Rippon and Sewell each had 28 disposals, but Rippon’s four goals secured him the best-on-ground three votes to take the lead and honours.
As well as polling three votes in round 20, the umpires also named him best-on-ground for a 32-disposal performance in a 103-point win against Frankston in round 15 and for a 34-disposal effort in a 47-point defeat of Geelong in round 17.
Rippon joins Sewell, Steve Clifton and Julian Field as North Ballarat winners of the VFL best and fairest. Field paved the way in 2004. Sewell won in 2009, and Clifton tied in 2010 and 2013.
Rippon is originally from East Point in the Ballarat Football League and has played 49 VFL games in three seasons.
Rippon launched his VFL career off a stellar 2012 TAC Cup season, when he won the North Ballarat Rebels’ best and fairest award and finished second in the Morrish Medal.