Three in a row is team's target

WHAT a difference three weeks has made to Penrith first grade cricket team.

Winless after four rounds, the side is climbing up the ladder after back-to-back wins.

"The aim is the make it three in a row against Eastern Suburbs this Saturday," coach Michael Wholohan told the Star this week.

"There's no such thing as an easy win. Eastern Suburbs also won last weekend so they too will be full of confidence. We will have to be at our best."

Wholohan praised his side's performance against Mosman on Saturday, where they surpassed the visitors' score of 202 with 4.4 overs to spare and three wickets in hand.

"The boys stuck to their guns with both the ball and the bat," he said.

"Mosman had a few good partnerships but we hung in there and showed some ticker."

He said Josh Lalor's recent 12 wicket haul against Randwick-Petersham contributed to the team's form turnaround.

"It gave the team some confidence to post some more wins before Christmas," Wholohan said.

"Before that, we were still positive and were training well.

"We thought our fortunes would turn around if we kept working hard."

Wholohan had double reason to celebrate on the weekend as former prodigy John Hastings wore the baggy green for the first time in the third Test against South Africa at the WACA.

He did his chances to play in Australia's upcoming series against Sri Lanka no harm.

AB de Villiers was Hastings' first Test scalp with the figure 1-51 in 20 overs and batted a handy 32 in Australia's first innings, where he found the boundary four times.

The former Londonderry local came through Penrith's junior cricket program before going on to play grade cricket for Hawkesbury.

He headed south in 2007 to play for the Victorian Bushrangers and also now plays for the Melbourne Stars in the Twenty-20 Big Bash.

"He wasn't the most gifted cricketer but he was a tremendous worker," Wholohan said.

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