MULTIPLE re-runs and multiple air-fence panels were required - but at the end of the night, a simply stunning Heat 15 ride from skipper Chris Harris ensured the Buildbase Bees would take all three points on their return to Elite League action.
Harris got the better of former Coventry star Scott Nicholls in a spectacular high-speed duel, thus preventing the Witches from repeating their feat of last month by snatching a point with a late comeback.
Prior to that, the meeting had been controlled by the Buildbase Bees as the Witches suffered a host of crashes, and whilst their riders clearly had race-winning ability they were also just as likely to run surprise last places or fail to finish at all.
Bees weren't quite at full strength with Przemyslaw Pawlicki absent due to World Under-21 commitments, but his stand-in Richard Hall, who took the booking at short notice, certainly got stuck in and scored some very useful points alongside Josh Auty.
That was after a near-disaster in Heat 2, which started with the scores level after Olly Allen had clipped Harris on the third bend of the first race and been passed as a result by Ben Barker, as Nicholls took a clear win - but the reserves' race looked set to put Coventry ahead. Hall and Auty held a convincing lead over Kyle Legault and Dawid Stachyra, but it all went wrong on turn four when Auty lifted, went into his Sheffield team-mate and then slammed into the fence. Hall retained control and did not fall, but Auty was down for some time and the signs didn't look good when he was carried into the medical room by Barker - but Auty was able to walk of his injury, helped by various further delays before he re-appeared on track, and Bees still had both of their reserves in the meeting.
The re-run, which was actually the third time of asking after an unsatisfactory start, saw Hall miss out into the first bend, but he was swiftly into his trademark style on the outside line which took him beyond Stachyra and only just behind Kyle Legault by the finishing line.
That put the Witches into an early lead, but it was quickly overturned in Heat 3 thanks to fast starts from Edward Kennett and Lewis Bridger, with Ales Dryml and Daniel King some way behind - but both recovered to play a significant part in the rest of the meeting.
Before that, Brandon specialist Robert Miskowiak again proved that his form elsewhere is irrelevant when he comes to Coventry as he out-trapped Krzysztof Kasprzak to take Heat 4, with Hall snatching third place after Legault made a mistake on turn four and almost hit the fence.
But then the series of Ipswich crashes began, and the first of those would have been hugely frustrating as Nicholls and Allen gated on a 5-1 only for Allen to fire across the track on the fourth bend and hit the fence, and after he had returned to the pits, Nicholls took the re-run comfortably enough.
There was a repeat performance in Heat 6 when fourth-placed Stachyra came to grief in exactly the same place, with Bees briefly ruing the fact that both Harris and Barker had out-gated Miskowiak - but they still got the job done in the re-run with Harris clamping the inside and Barker flying around the boards, putting them six points up despite having only had two heat winners!
The focus of attention then switched to turn two with Ales Dryml going too wide in the early stages of Heat 7 and crashing on the exit of the bend - but as he walked away, that turned out to be a second chance for the Witches because Kasprzak had gated at the first time of asking with Auty tussling with King - but in the re-run King made a great start and quickly raced clear of the Coventry pairing.
But Heat 8 was a total disaster for the visitors with Allen seemingly being handed a race win by a slight error by Barker on turn two. Barker was regaining ground into the last lap but didn't appear close enough to make a move, only for Allen to rear violently and pile into the fence, handing Barker and Hall a gift 5-1 to open up a ten point lead for the Bees.
Miskowiak was immediately handed a tactical ride in Heat 9 with a re-shuffle required at the start as Kennett hit mechanical trouble and was penalised 15 metres. Miskowiak then made the start from the inside ahead of Bridger, but a 6-3 was as good as it would get for the Witches because Kennett had made up his handicap and was past Stachyra by the end of the first lap.
Witches skipper King was next to get it wrong on turn two, having been tussling with Barker in the early stages, but another race stoppage whilst Bees were on a 5-1 did result in the visitors gaining something from the re-run with Dryml riding a tidy first half-lap to split Harris and Barker and limit the Coventry lead to nine points.
Ipswich surely needed Nicholls to maintain his winning ways if they were to have a chance of an unlikely comeback - but Heat 11 produced a real upset behind clear leader Kasprzak, who charged clear from gate two whilst Nicholls was remarkably relegated to the back thanks to a great ride by Auty - which continued throughout the race as Auty resisted every effort of the Ipswich No.1 to come through, whilst also attempting to edge inside Allen for second place. It was close at the end, but a 4-2 was a great result for the Bees, and it extended the lead to eleven.
Heat 12 was shared as King continued his up and down night with a win, despite some early pressure from Auty who had replaced Hall, who was timed out due to bike problems on his way to the start line.
Kasprzak, who got quicker as the night went on, then showed his strength on the first two bends of Heat 13 to superbly get the better of Nicholls, whilst Harris was briefly sent to the back as Miskowiak came through. The Coventry captain hit back, though, and after averting disaster when the two riders made contact over the start-finish line as Miskowiak tried to resist, Harris kept on the outside and moved through for third place to leave the scores at 47-34.
And that meant that, just as on May 14, Ipswich entered the last two races with a 13-point deficit and needing to use a tactical ride, which was handed to Dryml. Surely they were hoping for a 6-3 and then more heroics from Nicholls and Miskowiak in Heat 15 to snatch a point - but what they got from a dramatic penultimate race was far more than that because not only did Dryml gate well, Legault did so too - and despite some nervous, fence-scraping moments, the Canadian held on for second place ahead of the thrusting Auty, with Bridger having gone out of contention with a mistake early in the race.
Suddenly the Ipswich task in Heat 15 was more straightforward as they only needed a 3-3 to take a point, and restrict the Bees to two - and they won the toss as well, taking the preferred gates two and four and with Nicholls and Miskowiak selected, although King's speed when he made the start must have made him a contender too.
For Bees, it had to be Harris and Kasprzak - but it looked like their former skipper would again deny them as Nicholls moved ahead of Harris into the first bend, Kasprzak establishing himself in third place ahead of fellow Pole Miskowiak.
But the next minute or so of action was absolute vintage Harris, who this time was close enough to Nicholls early on to be able to challenge, and after initially looking to be lining up an inside move into the second lap, Harris then switched to a super-fast outside move and got the run on Nicholls up the back straight. Nicholls certainly wasn't giving in easily, and the two went wheel-to-wheel into turn three, before Nicholls got out of shape exiting the fourth bend, locked up slightly, and from then on there was only one winner.
It was a sensational lap of speedway, arguably even better than the Heat 13 cracker in the corresponding fixture last season involving the same two riders, and again it was Harris who came out on top.
With Kasprzak holding his comfortable third place to the flag, Bees had seen off the late Ipswich revival and moved back ahead of the Witches in the Elite League table - and with matches in hand and the run now standing at four straight wins, they can continue to look upwards as they continue the recovery from their awful first month of the season.
BUILDBASE BEES 52 Chris Harris 2 2* 3 1 3 = 11+1 Ben Barker 1* 3 3 1 = 8+1 Edward Kennett 3 1* 1* 1* = 6+3 Lewis Bridger 2* 2 2 0 = 6+1 Krzysztof Kasprzak 2 1* 3 3 1 = 10+1 Josh Auty X 2 1 2 1 = 6 Richard Hall 2 1* 2* M = 5+2
IPSWICH 44 Scott Nicholls 3 3 0 2 2 = 10 Olly Allen 0 X X 2 = 2 Daniel King 0 3 X 3 = 6 Ales Dryml 1 X 2 6^ = 9 Robert Miskowiak 3 1 6^ 0 0 = 10 Dawid Stachyra 1 X 0 0 = 1 Kyle Legault 3 R 1 2* = 6+1