BEES sit one point away from the Elite League play-offs after showing plenty of character to get the better of local rivals Wolverhampton thanks to a narrow 48-42 win.
The Bees were restricted to two points from the meeting at the Brandon on Friday evening which leaves them sitting in sixth position.
But there were stages where Wolves threatened to score far more than one and it took big displays by home riders to get their side over the line.
“If you’d offered me two points before the meeting I would have taken them.” said boss Gary Havelock.
“I was a little worried about this one, especially without Jason (Garrity).
“We had a chance for all three points, but on the flip side before the tapes went up in Heat 15 we could have ended up with one, so we’ll take the two and move on.”
The hosts advanced into a six-point lead early on with with neither of the visitors’ top two enjoying nights to remember.
Swedish youngster Jacob Thorssell kept Wolves in contention with his second win of the night in Heat 4, but Bees appeared in control when Chris Harris and Hans Andersen took maximum points in the next race.
Ryan Fisher, on his farewell appearance, took the first of two wins in a shared Heat 7 but fortunes began to swing in the next when Kyle Howarth crashed when attempting a burst around the outside to join Hansen for a possible 5-1.
Howarth was unable to take any further part in the meeting amidst concerns over a scaphoid injury.
That became increasingly likely when James Sarjeant fell in Heat 9 when third and Wolves notched a 5-1 in the re-run and the scores were level soon after at 30-30.
Hansen, though, put the meeting back in Coventry’s court by winning Heat 11 and Fisher prevented any immediate Wolves comeback by winning a shared Heat 12.
With Bees two-points up, Heat 13 was critical and a Bees 5-1 put the home side 42-36 up before Simon Lambert’s useful second place in penultimate heat meant Bees went in to the last race four points to the good.
The meeting came to a dramatic finale when Chris Harris was brought down by Piotr Pawlicki on the back straight of Heat 15 with Wolves needing a 5-1 to draw.
The Pole was disqualified as the cause of the accident which meant Bees had won the meeting, but Thorssell frustrated their bid for all three match points as he held second place ahead of Hansen.
Havelocked added: “We hope it’s not too bad with Kyle, but we’ll have to wait and see – apart from that, everything is looking good, and hard as it is on Fish, who was fantastic tonight, you have to look at going from a team which could potentially make the play-offs to a team who could genuinely win the league, and you can’t let those opportunities pass by.”