THERE were plenty of talking points at the end of this Elite League clash - but the most important thing was Coventry's win after so long without a completed fixture.
The Buildbase Bees will inevitably spend the early part of the summer in the lower reaches of the table - they could even be bottom by the next time they race at home in the League - but the matches in hand mean they still have every chance of storming up in July and August.
Defeating Belle Vue, however, was of vital importance, especially as the Aces had been allowed to leave Brandon with a point for a 45-45 draw two months ago - the only point the Manchester club have gained on the road so far.
Bees always appeared to be just about in control of the 'B' fixture although they were never allowed to build a fully comfortable lead, as the Aces prevented them from scoring any 5-1s.
However, the visitors were unable to offer a significant threat of heat advantages themselves, largely because they ran a remarkable 14 last places out of 15 - and on the one occasion they provided two scoring finishers, they took a 5-1!
Bees enjoyed the luxury of tracking a full one-to-seven for the first time since mid-April although there were several hearts in mouths when Olly Allen was involved in yet another unfortunate incident, taking an horrendous-looking fall in Heat 10 when he was fetched off by Charlie Gjedde.
Fortunately, it appeared to be bike rather than rider which came off worse as Allen's machine cleared the safety fence and finished on the greyhound track, although he was ruled out of the re-run of the race.
Allen made a good start in Heat 1 to secure a 3-3 with skipper Chris Harris behind the predictably rapid Jason Crump, although Billy Forsberg - who rode far better than his score suggests - was always close enough to pounce on any error from Allen for third place, which never came.
As expected, Stan Burza dominated Heat 2 with Aces' Nick Simmons riding well for second place, and the returning Andreas Messing moved inside a faster-starting Jonas Raun coming off the second bend to secure a comfortable third position.
Heat 3 provided action both during and after the race as Lukasz Jankowski stormed from the outside gate and then proved, not for the first time against the Bees, to be a hugely difficult man to pass. Rory Schlein and Billy Janniro both tried it for all four laps but were left frustrated by Jankowski's defensive moves coming out of corners and down the straights, which were not exactly textbook - and the Bees pair wasted no time in making their feelings known after the chequered flag.
A 4-2 in Heat 4 put Bees into a four point lead as Simon Stead got the better of Joe Screen coming off the second bend, and Schlein and Janniro then team-rode well on the first lap in particular to protect a shared race in Heat 5 as Forsberg strongly threatened to split them up.
Heat 6 was vintage Harris as Screen held the lead for nearly three laps and appeared to be on just the right line - but Harris went wider and wider on the third and fourth bends and made it all the way around the outside for a superb race victory. With Allen third, a further 4-2 in Heat 7 - Burza doing well on the outside to get the better of Jankowski for third place behind Stead and Gjedde - put Coventry into an eight point lead, and prompted the arrival of Crump as a tactical substitute in Heat 8.
For the ploy to have the best chance of working, the Aces needed Forsberg to make the start - but he was squeezed between Allen and Burza, at which point Allen cleared off and won the race whilst the remaining three riders engaged in a frantic battle. Burza was superb in defending from Crump, and holding Forsberg at bay, on the second lap, and although Crump finally came through at the start of lap four, Burza still rode in the correct place to prevent the Swede from being assisted through into third place.
What would have been a 4-2 became a 4-4 with Crump's doubled second place, but further 4-2s followed in the next two races, Screen doing a good job for the visitors in Heat 9 to split Schlein and Janniro with an outside move around Janniro at the end of the first lap.
Heat 10 was less straightforward, with Harris rounding the field on the first bend but Allen battling with Jankowski and Gjedde, and briefly dropping to the back. He re-took third going into the second lap, but Gjedde's attempted response at the end of the back straight ended in contact with Allen and the Bees man being thrown from his machine in a frightening spill.
The green exclusion light came on immediately and it was to everyone's general relief that Allen was able to walk away from the crash relatively unscathed, although Messing replaced him for the re-run which resulted in a 4-2 with Harris making short work of going past Jankowski coming off the fourth bend.
Twelve points down, Belle Vue fashioned a response in Heat 11 with Crump taking the advantage from Stead and Forsberg then coming past the Bees man on the inside as Stead drifted just of the line out of turn four. It was a big 5-1 to the visitors, but they still needed several more things to go their way if they were to mount a miracle comeback.
Heat 12 was another fine race with Schlein and Gjedde going wheel to wheel and exchanging places on three occasions, Schlein delighting the Bees fans by coming out on top as he made it through on the inside. With Messing third again, Bees were back into a ten-point lead, and that meant Screen as a tactical ride in Heat 13.
But if the move in Heat 8 had only been partially successful, this one did not work out at all as the Bees gated well, Harris reaching the first bend in the lead and never being threatened by Crump, who had to work hard on the first lap to go past Stead after trailing him into the third and fourth bend. Stead still managed to defend third place from Screen, and Coventry's points were safe.
Jankowski took care of Heat 14 which probably left the Aces wondering what might have been as he held off Janniro's repeated outside attempts, and Crump then got the better of Harris in a well-contested first bend in the last race to gain some revenge for his Heat 13 defeat.
Bees, however, can reflect on a solid effort with several of their team probably a little race-rusty after injuries or just a general lack of competitive action - and although they will have to wait some more time to make further progress in the League, it was important to ensure that the run of shock results almost everywhere this season did not continue here, and it was a task well achieved.
BUILDBASE BEES 52 Chris Harris 2 3 3 3 2 = 13 Olly Allen 1* 1 3 N = 5+1 Rory Schlein 2 2 3 3 1* = 11+1 Billy Janniro 1* 1* 1 2 = 5+2 Simon Stead 3 3 1 1 = 8 Stan Burza 3 1 1 0 1* = 6+1 Andreas Messing 1 1 1 1 = 4
BELLE VUE 40 Jason Crump 3 3 4# 3 2 3 = 18 Billy Forsberg 0 0 0 2* = 2+1 Charlie Gjedde 0 2 X 2 = 4 Lukasz Jankowski 3 0 2 3 0 = 8 Joe Screen 2 2 2 0^ = 6+1 Nick Simmons 2 0 0 0 = 2 Jonas Raun 0 0 0 = 0