New cricket medal to honour crash victims a year on from tragedy

A NEW cricket medal will honour the lives of six people who died in a horrific car crash near Penshurst last year.

The Sean Doran Memorial Medal will go to the best player in the one-day division one match between Russells Creek and Woodford at Jetty Flat on Sunday.

The medal adds to tributes which are part of the second Forever Young Shield match between the Creekers and the Eels.

Former Emmanuel College students Sean Doran, Olivia and Caroline Wright, Rebecca McKenzie and Tim Cooper and Terang truck driver Steve Elford died when a car and a truck collided on November 12 last year.

Doran played his junior cricket at Russells Creek but had crossed to Woodford for the 2011-12 season.

The sides vied for the inaugural Forever Young Shield in January and Sunday’s second match goes ahead just over a year since the tragedy.

The stand-alone fixture is part of round seven of the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association (WDCA) season. The remaining matches will go ahead on January 5.

WDCA general manager Andrew Sloane said the association consulted with the Doran family before creating the medal.

“The introduction of a player-of-the-match medal is something that is hopefully going to promote the event to the community,” Sloane said.

“It is something we had to be careful about doing.

“We made sure we did clear it with the Doran family and they’ve been very supportive of the match right from the word go, including last year as well. We have spoken at length about it. Without their blessing, we wouldn’t persist with any of this.

“They’ve been very forthcoming in providing their suggestions for the day.”

Sloane said tributes on Sunday would include a balloon release, a minute’s silence and the presentation of the Forever Young Shield.

He encouraged the Warrnambool community to attend the match “even if you stick your head in for half an hour”.

“You’d prefer not to have these types of things, but if we can celebrate several lives that were taken too early, what a fitting way to do it,” he said.

“A lot of those people were involved with sport in their local communities. It’s a great chance for the WDCA to honour those lives.”

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