Lavington coach Daryl Tuffey says a mid-year honesty session is behind the club's resurgence.
The Panthers were third at Christmas with a six-three record, but have now jumped into second.
"We sat down and took a look at ourselves, we were playing pretty average cricket," Tuffey admitted.
"I guess with the success we've had over the last few years, you can get by sometimes (just on talent).
"We just weren't on song really in all facets of our game, I think we were below par.
"We were beating the teams below us, but not the teams above us.
"There's no use playing your best cricket in October, you need to be playing it in February-March."
The Panthers learnt that painful lesson last season.
They looked almost unbeatable, losing only one of 18 matches at 50-over level, prior to finals, and won all six games in claiming the T20 crown.
Lavington then hammered North Albury in the first of the three-match grand final series, but fell in the last two to lose the seemingly unlosable.
Nothing drives a team like the burning pain of a lost premiership and the Panthers have shown since the break how much a title would mean, racking up an unbeaten run.
"All of a sudden since Christmas, we've hit another gear, our batsmen are in form, Matty Tom is hitting the ball as clean as he ever has, he's back at the top of the order," Tuffey said.
Tom has struck 91, 72 and 46 in his last three innings to bolt into the association's top 10 run-scorers with 421 at 42.
NSW Country paceman Ryan Brown has snared two bags of four wickets and is menacingly just outside the top 10 with 21 scalps.
And along with the name players firing, the Panthers also boast two 14-year-olds in Oscar Lyons and Brady Marshall.
Wicketkeeper Marshall claimed two catches on debut last week against Tallangatta, while Lyons has made 25 and 26 in his two innings.
"I just try to be as dedicated as I can and make sure I don't throw my wicket away," Lyons said.
Tuffey also played first grade at 14 before going on to play for New Zealand.
"Each week Oscar is getting a PB (personal best)," he said.
"At that age probably the most difficult aspect is the mental side, physically he can hit the ball hard. He's quite a tall, lean strong lad.
"And Brady kept really well against Tallangatta, keeping to Mick Galvin is never an easy task, a lot of keepers can struggle keeping to spinners."
IN OTHER NEWS:
Lavington's winning run faces a major test on Saturday against in-form Albury.
The visitors have bolted into fourth following five straight wins, with a host of players starring.