COVENTRY continued where they left off last year by starting 2015 with their 13th consecutive win which equals a club record set 40 years ago.
Scott Morgan’s side had to battle hard in the second half to secure a narrow 24-19 win on the road at Old Albanian to retain second place National League One.
The hosts proved to be a much stronger unit than the side that lost 37-16 at the Butts Park Arena back in September and were boosted by a number of dual registered Saracens players.
In the absence of Cliffie Hodgson Coventry were skippered for the first time by scrum half Wayne Evans and it was the visitors who went ahead after three minutes thanks to a Matt Jones penalty.
Although Old Albanian were seeing plenty of the ball early on it was taking both sides some time to really settle into an attacking mode after the festive break.
Jones pulled a second penalty attempt wide before Wayne Evans scored the opening try of the match.
Evans produced a sublime chip over the top which the scrum half re-gathered to steam in for his maiden club try and Jones converted for 10-0 after 26 minutes.
Coventry kept the pressure on their opponents and when Rob Knox was released some 30 metres out he was able to cross for his 11th try of the season which was again converted with ease by Jones four minutes before the break.
The away following however did not have to wait too long into the second half before seeing clearly the match was far from over.
With Old Albanian immediately kicking deep Coventry were forced to defend a line out six minutes into the second half and a home catch home catch and drive saw lock Billy Johnson driven over for will Magie to convert.
The visitors were forced back into their own half for large periods and when Jones was yellow-carded for not releasing it was only a matter of time before the hosts scored again.
They did just that when full back Nick Foster ploughed over and once again Magie converted to cut the deficit to just three points ten minutes remaining.
As the game entered into injury-time George Oliver produced a telling burst only to be held before replacement Lewis Ludlam claimed possession back and crossed under the posts and Jones converted for 24-14.
There was still time for home winger James Spiers to have the final word and score the final try whilst also claiming a bonus point even though the conversion attempt failed.
With Ealing gaining a bonus point at Blaydon Coventry now find themselves sitting six points behind the league leaders ahead of this Saturday’s home clash against Blaydon.