The Albury-Wodonga Spitfires men will now need to win their last four games if they're to play a part in this year's Capital League finals series.
Ladder leaders Wests got over the top of the Border side 3-0 at Albury Hockey Centre on Saturday.
The Spitfires put together good passages of play throughout, but yet again couldn't take advantage in front of goal.
All three of Wests' goals were scored against the run of play as they maintained first position.
ALSO IN SPORT:
Spitfires' co-coach Jeremy Payne admitted it has been the story of their season.
"Our on field play, we sort of had it on them and did everything right, but we just couldn't convert," Payne said.
"We still have our lapses where we switch off for two or three minutes, every team does it, but the other teams put us away.
"There's a couple games we should of won, United two weeks ago and St Pats earlier in the year and they're the games you look back on come finals time.
"It's not over yet though."
The men's ladder after round 16 is: Wests 42, Central 40, Goulburn 33, Old Canberrans 24, United 19, Albury-Wodonga 19, St Patrick's 7, ANU 7.
Also on Saturday, the Spitfires women were outclassed 5-0 by competition leaders ANU at Canberra's Carter Field.
The women's ladder after round 16 is: ANU 38, Tuggeranong 33, Old Canberrans 30, St Patrick's 29, Central 28, United 27, University of Canberra 15, Albury-Wodonga 14, Goulburn 13, North Canberra Eagles 3.
Receive our daily newsletter straight to your inbox each morning from The Border Mail. Sign up here