After losing only once in their first 11 matches, title challengers Netts A have now lost two in a row in the Braintree Table Tennis League.
Their defeat by Liberal B has been followed by a 6-4 defeat by their own C team.
There is an excuse this time as they were only able to field two players.
Paul Davison won his three singles but Maria Boulton, John Cleasby and Andy Holmes all got the better of James Mullane.
The tightest set was that between Davison and the evergreen and, it seems, ever improving Cleasby, which Davison won 9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 10-12, 11-8.
Leaders Liberal A were also hit by availability problems for their match against Rayne C and had to call up two reserves, with differing results.
Brandon Crouchman remained undefeated, but for Ryan Gooday it was a complete off night. He had been unbeaten in his other two matches this season but this time got nowhere against Nick Hasler, Keith Martin and Richard Whiteside.
Scott Dowsett was on hand to add his three singles and the doubles with Crouchman to give Liberal a 7-3 win.
Rayne A jumped back above Netts B into fourth place by beating them 7-3.
It was a good evening for Steve Pennell, who won his three singles.
Rayne D took all ten off Sible Hedingham, only Brian Riedling’s marathon 11-9, 9-11, 14-12, 12-14, 11-6 win over Richard Jennings going the distance, and Liberal B crept home 6-4 against Black Notley A, despite three wins from Notley’s Andrew Huckson.
Division two leaders Notley C had a comfortable 8-2 win over Nomads but may find life more difficult in the coming weeks after their new signing Remy De Lynen tore a muscle, which is likely to keep him out of action for some time.
With Rayne E not in action, Liberal C moved up to second place with an 8-2 win over Notley D.
Having won all their singles matches but lost the doubles in their previous match, this time Notley D nearly did it the other way round. They won only one singles – Keith Flowers over Barry Evans – but Adam Clift and Bruce Wickham notched up a creditable win in the doubles.
Erstwhile leaders Notley B continue to struggle. They lost their fourth match out of five when then went down 6-4 to Felsted RBL A.
Gordon Fairchild won his three singles, although he was taken to 11-9 in the fifth by both Ian and Nick Butler.
Adam Purslow got even closer in Hedingham Lions’ 10-0 defeat by Rayne F.
He took Ted Sims to 13-11 in the fifth and then came desperately close to beating Dave Marsh, who has not lost since September. He took a two games-to-love lead and only capitulated at 12-10 in the fifth.