READING Rockets (4-3) suffered a disappointing weekend with 86-75 and 85-69 defeats at Team Solent Kestrels in NBL Division One and Essex Leopards in the National Trophy.

Alan Keane’s men dropped to sixth in the table as the table-topping Kestrels made it nine wins from nine on Saturday night.

Rockets made a bright start as they shaded the opening quarter 20-18, only for the home side to have levelled matters 38-38 by half-time.

A strong third-quarter surge ended with Kestrels leading 62-52, and they held their nerve to also edge the final stanza by a solitary point. AJ Carr (pictured) top scored for Rockets with 23 points, with Sydney Donaldson adding 17.

Reading endured more disappointment the following day as they suffered their first Group B defeat of the season, leaving their semi-final qualification waiting on the final game between Leopards and Hemel Storm.

They started slowly at the Essex Sport Arena and were trailing 20-8 after the first period, albeit they improved to trail just 36-29 at half-time.

A poor third-quarter left them with a mountain to climb as they fell 64-47 behind, and despite winning the last session 22-21, they were left well beaten.

Carr was again Rockets’ biggest contributor with 18 points, with captain Danny Carter managing 16.

Rockets will hope to return to winning ways when they welcome Barking Abbey Crusaders to the Rivermead Leisure Complex on Sunday (5pm).