Lavington coach Linda Robinson has revealed the Panthers work just as hard on their mental strength as they do physically in preparation for game days.
A psychologist by profession, Robinson believes the Panthers' mindset was crucial in allowing them to hold on to defeat Albury by one goal on Saturday.
"It showed a lot of mental strength and we work on being mentally tough," Robinson said.
"We work on things at training with what we say to ourselves, staying positive and working together and I think that shone through.
"I think mentally to hold on and win when you're down and to stage two comebacks and hold on by one goal at the end was good."
However, Robinson also believes there's room for improvement.
"Our general skills and intensity were off and we'll be looking to improve on that a lot," she said.
"Albury really played a strong game."
After taking out the Ovens and Murray League's B-grade best and fairest award last season, Tayla Furborough was among the best for the Panthers and is finding her feet in the A-grade side.
"She's such a quality player," Robinson said.
"She's so tall and athletic and just gets her hand on the ball.
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"She's been really versatile and we've been able to use her in all three positions in defence."
Lavington also warmly welcomed the return of star defender Sarah Meredith from pregnancy.
While Meredith has played in B-grade in recent weeks, it marked her first time on court in A-grade this season.
"It was a bit of a luxury having a champion like her sitting on the bench," Robinson said.
"She came on and had a real impact which was great to see."
Lavington has so far won six of its first seven encounters and sits second on the Ovens and Murray's A-grade ladder.
"In general we're really happy with how things are going," Robinson said.
"We set ourselves a goal to be in that top three and we're there now, but you just can't take anything for granted.
"Any team can knock any team off in the O and M and you just have to be on your game all the time."
Following the league's bye round for the interleague clash against the Goulburn Valley League this weekend, the Panthers will take on Wangaratta for an away game.
After seven rounds, Corowa-Rutherglen lead the way and are yet to concede a match, followed by Lavington, Yarrawonga, Wangaratta Magpies and Wodonga Raiders to round out the competition's current top five.
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