WESTERN'S winning hopes at the NSW Country Championships came to an end on Saturday following a 53 run loss to Riverina at Goulburn.
Following a fair start to their pursuit of Riverina's 5-242, led by Qureshi brothers Jameel (38) and Imran (30), Western were never able to establish another length partnership as they went down for the second day running after their heartbreaking two wicket loss to Illawarra on Friday.
The loss officially put an end to Western's chances at the tournament, with Riverina's contributions throughout their batting order proving the difference in the round two clash.
Dubbo's Mat Skinner (2-27 from 10 overs) and Marty Jeffrey (32) had solid performances at Prell Oval but skipper Jameel Qureshi said Western contributed too much to their own downfall.
"I think we started off pretty well with the bat but I think it was our catching that let us down a bit. We dropped a few catches and that helped them get a few extra runs," he said.
"If we were good enough though we would have chased that down.
"I think we've been our own worst enemies over these first two games. At this level it's always a tough opposition but you always make things harder for yourself when you drop catches and a few things don't go your way."
Riverina's Brayden Ambler (61) picked up where the opening pair of Dean Bennett (39) and Matt Sharp (32) left off, after the openers put on 62 together.
The other damaging partnership against the Western bowlers came on the sixth wicket between Ben Mitchell (47 not out) and Nathan Brown (23 not out), an unbeaten stand worth 69 runs.
Following Ben Wheeler's early dismissal for seven runs the Qureshi brothers brought the Western chase into a healthy position at 1-84 before the captain was dismissed.
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Western never truly regained steam as the Riverina attack pinned them down.
Jeffrey and Bathurst debutant Bailey Brien (25) tried to pick the run rate up but it wasn't happening for the men and blue and red.
Skinner (10) was the only other Western batsman to reach double figures as the side were all out for 189 in the 46th over of their chase.
One of the small highlights for Western was the second wicket stand by the Qureshi boys, a parternship the skipper always treasures at representative level.
"It was great to but with Immi today, and we did that yesterday as well," he said.
"It's nice being able to bat together at this level and to put on 60-odd together."
Western looked to save themselves from three straight defeats at the championships on Sunday evening, with their match against ACT Southern Districts evenly poised midway through the latter's chase of 222 at Seiffert Oval.