THERE was no disguising the fact that Wolverhampton were the happier side with their two points from the thrilling finale than the Buildbase Bees were with their one.
Fredrik Lindgren's spectacular, sensational fourth-to-second dash in the last lap or so of Heat 15 may well go a long way towards cementing Wolves' top two place ahead of the play-offs, and leave Bees facing a handicap in the semi-finals should they secure a top-four spot.
In all probability, Bees needed three points rather than even two to pile the pressure on the Monmore - so their eventual one will leave minds fully focused on finishing ahead of at least one of Lakeside and Peterborough.
The possibility of a three-pointer was there for much of the evening, especially after two early 5-1s, but Wolverhampton simply refused to cave in and took their chances when they were presented to remain in touch.
Bees skipper Chris Harris looked imperious in the early stages and he stormed to a Heat 1 success over Lindgren, but the shared heat was maintained by Lee Complin holding off Filip Sitera for third place.
Complin, however, was left at the back in Heat 2 as Ricky Wells made a terrific start from gate 2 and was joined immediately by Ben Barker's trademark outside swoop as the Bees went in front with a 5-1.
Edward Kennett appeared to have the early advantage in Heat 3 but Tai Woffinden switched back well off the second bend and managed to get his front wheel ahead going into turn three, allowing him to dictate the corner and ultimately take Wolves' first race win of the night.
But it looked a long way back for the visitors when captain Peter Karlsson was sent wide by Olly Allen at the start of Heat 4, putting Karlsson to the back with Barker moving inside Complin at the end of the first lap to double Bees' advantage.
The rider-replacement facility for Nicolai Klindt grabbed another point in Heat 5 as Lindgren took the win over Kennett, with Martin Smolinski suffering major clutch problems at the end of the first lap to hand Chris Kerr a point.
But Bees quickly responded with a 4-2 of their own, Harris showing no mercy to Karlsson on the first turn having been fractionally outgated, and Sitera being equally firm on Kerr on the back straight.
Heat 7 was called back for an unsatisfactory start, and the re-run looked far from satisfactory either as Skornicki took the lead with Allen and Woffinden disputing their position up the back straight, Woffinden taking it into turn three and then sitting in behind his Polish team-mate for a 5-1 to halve the Coventry lead.
Skornicki was straight back out for Heat 8 as rider replacement and looked to have the better of Barker after an eventful first lap - but Barker reeled him back in on lap three and then surged around the outside to pull off a brilliant pass, and with Sitera in third place, Bees were six-up.
That was followed by three shared races, although Heat 9 was another nervous one for Smolinski as more clutch problems saw him fall into Kerr's clutches, just holding on to third place on the line.
Harris then swooped around a faster-gating Woffinden off turn two in Heat 10, and at that stage looked virtually unbeatable, whilst Skornicki snatched third from Sitera when the Czech rider drifted wide on the third lap.
Lindgren took Heat 11 from Allen, but Kerr duplicated Sitera's error when in third place, and that offered Wells the chance to move in for a point and maintain the six-point difference.
And Heat 12 then appeared to be the race which put the Bees in control, especially as the outcome was that there would be no tactical rides for the Wolves' big guns. Barker was superb again in battling with Woffinden in the first two turns and moving inside him on the back straight - whilst the battle for third was equally important with Smolinski, on borrowed machinery, finally taking Complin at the start of the last lap before Complin spun and fell on the last bend.
But so often this season, Wolves have secured points via 5-1s in Heats 13 and 15, and Coventry had a clear message that the job was not complete when Lindgren and Karlsson somehow negotiated a crowded first lap in Heat 13 to take first and second places - the fast gate of Allen having been accounted for by Karlsson's wide line off turn two, and Harris being caught out by Lindgren's inside run.
An advantage in Heat 14 would have secured the match for the Bees, and they had it for two laps with Kennett race-leading from Skornicki and Barker in third place.
But Barker, with the racers' instinct, was chasing a paid maximum, and he unfortunately overcooked it on the third bend to leave Kerr in third place and leave the gap still at four points with one heat to go.
Wolves won the toss for Heat 15 and duly selected the gates 1 and 3 from which they had made their good early moves in Heat 13 - but on this occasion, although Karlsson made a storming start, Lindgren was left at the back from the inside, and Kennett and Harris seemed to have things covered.
The position changed, though, at the end of lap three when Lindgren - again using the inside well - made it inside Harris to give himself a lap to go at Kennett, and although the Bees rider knew of his opponent's presence on the back straight, it turned out that he was unable to prevent a quite magnificent ride by Lindgren who went into turn three slightly wider, then cut back as Kennett swung out, and then beat him to the line by a whisker.
Delight for Wolves, their management and the supporters, and disappointment after so many recent similarly dramatic successes for the Bees, who still have five matches - with a stronger line-up - to make sure of a play-off place.
The postscript to any close meeting is to analyse certain races and determine what changes to the result may have occurred had different decisions been taken.
The main focus of attention, clearly, was Heat 10 and the Bees' decision to run with the programmed line-up - at a time when a 5-1 would have offered Wolves the opportunity of a tactical ride in the next race.
A 5-1 would have been in no way guaranteed given the form of Woffinden, but Bees did hold a 4-2 in Heat 10 for two laps - and unbeknown to anyone at that stage, had they gone eight-up and followed that with their 4-2 in Heat 12, they would actually have *lost* the match by one point due to a tactical ride in Heat 13. 5-1 in Heat 10 - unlikely from the moment Woffinden made such a good start, whichever rider was partnering Harris - would eventually have had Bees 47-46 winners with Lindgren taking six from Heat 11.
And unless Barker was expected to partner himself in Heat 12, this was one of those occasions when giving an in-form reserve seven rides wasn't quite as straightforward as the scorechart would seem to suggest.
Maybe one of those occasions too to accept that given the class of riders on show, not every last-heat decider will finish with the desired outcome - and that there could well be plenty more drama from these two sides as both return to full strength between now and the end of the season.
BUILDBASE BEES 45 Chris Harris 3 3 3 1 0 = 10 Filip Sitera 0 1 1 0 = 2 Martin Smolinski 1* R 1* 1 = 3+2 Edward Kennett 2 2 2 3 1 = 10 Olly Allen 3 1 2 0 = 6 Ricky Wells 2* 0 1* = 3+2 Ben Barker 3 2* 3 3 0 = 11+1
WOLVERHAMPTON 45 Fredrik Lindgren 2 3 3 2* 2* = 12+2 Nicolai Klindt Rider Replacement Tai Woffinden 3 2* 2 2 = 9+1 Adam Skornicki 0 3 2 1* 2 = 8+1 Peter Karlsson 1 2 3 3 3 = 12 Chris Kerr 1 1 0 0 0 1* = 3+1 Lee Complin 1* 0 0 0 F = 1+1