IT was almost the KO Cup Final re-visited as the Buildbase Bees gave themselves a major mountain to climb - and climbed it in emphatic fashion.
Back in October, Swindon raced into a 20-10 lead before being pegged back by a Heat 6 tactical ride - on this occasion, they were two points better off at 21-9 but the eventual outcome was almost identical.
It was a victory for the Bees which saw the team pulling together as a unit, especially after several riders had suffered disappointing starts to the meeting.
But they all concentrated fully on the job in hand and did not let conditions get to them, whilst Swindon appeared to lose all momentum despite racing into such a clear lead.
At times, the pits phone was well used as the weather and track conditions were debated, but it would have been a major own-goal for the sport had a premature halt been called, the riders doing well to battle difficult visibility on a track which held up well to rain throughout much of the meeting.
The heavy downpours of the afternoon had disappeared but gave way to a slow-moving band which was never particularly heavy but still turned it into a most unseasonal mid-July evening.
And by the end of the night most of the supporters were talking about Bees No.8 Ben Barker, who truly came of age and recorded a richly deserved high home score that his battling efforts on the road have merited.
Barker's no-nonsense attitude rubbed off on the rest of the team, and the second half of the meeting showed the way in which they can come together in difficult circumstances.
The early Swindon dominance seemed to catch everyone by surprise, even though there was no great shock to see Leigh Adams dominate the first race with Chris Harris and the back-from-injury Billy Janniro swapping positions on the second lap.
Bees' first setback came when Andreas Messing broke the tapes in Heat 2, and although Barker rode an excellent first bend to win the re-run, the race was destined to be shared again with Messing gaining ground on Krzysztof Stojanowski and Paul Clews but being unable to make a passing move.
Then Simon Stead and Olly Allen found themselves outgated and outpaced by James Wright and Mads Korneliussen in Heat 3 to put Swindon in front, and Bees were facing another possible 1-5 in Heat 4 when Messing spun around on the third bend and then careered into the fence, ending his night with a leg injury.
The re-run went exactly the same way as the race had started, with Travis McGowan and a fast-gating Stojanowski getting away from Rory Schlein, who was totally filled-in in the early stages.
At 8-16, the alarm bells were ringing - but things were to get worse before they would get better, as Wright once again made the start in Heat 5 and the almost ever-present Adams was a clear winner to give Swindon a 21-9 lead that they looked entirely capable of defending.
The tactical ride in Heat 6 of last year's Cup Final may have involved different personnel, but the outcome was the same in 2008 as Harris, going for the double, hit the front early, and Janniro took advantage of an error by McGowan on the second lap to make his way through on the inside.
Under the current tactical regulations, an 8-1 is such an important outcome from the race, and that was exactly what the Bees achieved to cut the gap from twelve to five points.
Barker then shot away from the start to win Heat 7 from Korneliussen with Schlein, having changed bike, doing all he could to pass the Dane but eventually having to make sure he held on to third place.
Korneliussen halted Bees' charge by taking Heat 8 but the battle for the minor places held everyone's attention with Janniro's clever defensive move on the third lap leaving Stojanowski in a spot of bother, and Barker took advantage to snatch third place.
Stead and Allen were two other men to change machinery ahead of their next outings, and that was clearly the right move as they looked totally different riders in Heat 9 with some great work on the third bend, Stead holding McGowan at bay and Allen blasting around the outside to set up a 5-1 which put Bees improbably ahead.
By now there was a good outside line working and that allowed Harris to be at his spectacular best in Heat 10 by storming around Korneliussen on turn four after the Swindon man had ridden a good first half-lap.
The gap was still one point, and it remained so after a hectic start to Heat 11 when Barker gated with Schlein ahead of Adams, but unfortunately fell on the third bend when still holding third place over McGowan. Importantly, though, he re-mounted immediately and with Adams settling for second place at an early stage, Schlein was able to complete an impressive win.
Bees moved further clear with a 4-2 in Heat 12 which looked like a possible 5-1 in the early stages until Barker locked up on turn four to allow Stojanowski - who did a fine job for the Robins - into second place. Crucially, though, Barker held on to third ahead of Korneliussen and Bees were edging ahead.
Adams won Heat 13 but the important action took place on the second bend because McGowan briefly threatened join his skipper on a 5-1 having made a good start - but he went too wide and Harris and Schlein made sure they punished the error to bring home a 3-3.
And it was game over in Heat 14 thanks to Allen and Barker, Allen showing good awareness to stop Stojanowski's outside run on turn two, and Barker also read the situation to move through into a comfortable second place.
With the meeting lost, Adams was clearly not going to be a part of Heat 15, and there was clear approval when Barker was nominated for the race along with Harris - and even greater approval when he pair rounded things off with another 5-1 ahead of Korneliussen and Wright.
Harris and Barker were Coventry's two outstanding riders on the night - but it still required plenty of attitude elsewhere, especially from those whose meetings got off on completely the wrong track, and having Janniro back in the middle order was also a clear benefit.
At the halfway stage of the season Bees are nowhere near where they want to be in the Elite League table - but it's still a campaign which has plenty of racing left in it, and hopefully the overall signs of the last week can be translated into a consistent run after the World Cup break.
BUILDBASE BEES 52 Chris Harris 2 6^ 3 2 3 = 16 Billy Janniro 1* 2* 2 0 = 5+2 Simon Stead 1 1 2* 3 = 7+1 Olly Allen 0 0 3 3 = 6 Rory Schlein 1 1 3 1* = 6+1 Ben Barker 3 3 1* 0 1 2* 2* = 12+3 Andreas Messing 0 X = 0