COVENTRY put up a competitive performance before going down 51-39 to title favourites Mildenhall at West Row on Saturday.
The Fen Tigers went to the top of the National League table as a result, but of their ten home matches in all competitions this season only Birmingham, who lost by eight points in the KO Cup, ran them closer than the Europress Bees.
Coventry finished the meeting particularly strongly, with their top two of Connor Mountain and Jon Armstrong collecting 5-1s in both Heats 13 and 15.
The former saw home man Danny Ayres disqualified for bringing down Mountain, with the Bees duo getting the better of Ryan Kinsley in the re-run, whilst Heat 15 saw Mountain and Armstrong race clear of Josh Bailey and Drew Kemp.
Mountain’s return to his former track had started in inauspicious fashion as he was disqualified from Heat 1 after a tangle with Kinsley.
But Luke Harris rode a fine race to win the re-run, Kemp having been penalised for touching the tapes, whilst Mountain dropped just one point from his remaining four rides.
The Fen Tigers moved into an early six point lead largely thanks to a 5-1 from their strong middle-order pairing of Bailey and Danny Halsey in Heat 3, and Armstrong was on the receiving end of a maximum from Kemp and Kinsley in Heat 6.
Bees grabbed a couple of points back when Ayres tumbled in Heat 7 when chasing Danny Phillips, but the lead went up to double figures in the next race with Kemp working his way to the front with partner Sam Bebee.
Another Bailey/Halsey 5-1 over Armstrong in Heat 9 all but guaranteed another win for the Fen Tigers, but Bees ensured no major damage in the final third of the meeting.
Phillips and Luke Ruddick managed to share Heat 10 by squeezing out Kinsley, and although Mountain lost out to Ayres in Heat 11, he did get the better of Matt Marson in the early stages.
Bailey passed Ruddick in Heat 12 for a Mildenhall 4-2, a result matched in Heat 14 despite the attempts of Phillips to get to Halsey, but the 5-1s in Bees’ favour from Mountain and Armstrong in Heats 13 and 15 ensured a respectable result.
Manager Martyn Macdonald said: “The meeting went as expected to be honest. I thought we did pretty well at the start and the end, but they have very strong pairings with someone in every race who’s well capable of winning.
“Overall it was a good performance. I was pleased they didn’t get to the 60-point mark which several teams have fallen to against them!
“We’re looking forward to getting back on our home track on Sunday, and we want to do to them what they’ve done to us. Half of their team won’t have been to Leicester, so I’m pretty confident for that one.
MILDENHALL 51: Josh Bailey 12, Drew Kemp 11, Danny Halsey 7+2, Sam Bebee 7+1, Danny Ayres 6, Ryan Kinsley 4+2, Matt Marson 4. COVENTRY 39: Connor Mountain 11, Jon Armstrong 8+2, Danny Phillips 7+1, Luke Harris 5, Luke Ruddick 5, Jamie Halder 2, Ryan MacDonald 1+1.