Nottingham threw the race for second place in National League One wide open with a 24-14 victory over Exeter.
Tries from Tim Molenaar, Craig Hammond and Alex Loney, allied to the boot of David Jackson, built a 24-0 home lead.
Chiefs hit back late on with tries from Junior Fatialofa and Richie Baxter, but by then the damage had been done.
Neither side were unable to find the further scores they needed for a bonus point, meaning they go into the final two games level on points.
Exeter are still favourites to finish second, as they have more wins than Nottingham, 22 to 21, the next determining factor if the teams end up level on points.
But coach Glenn Delaney was still pleased with his side's efforts in beating Exeter, their EDF National Trophy semi-final conquerors last month, to take the race all the way to the wire.
"We got a great start and maintained it," said Delaney. "We probably played the best rugby we have all year."
Coventry could now hold the key as to who finishes runner-up to runaway champions Northampton.
Coventry visit Exeter next Saturday, before going to Nottingham on the final day.
Nottingham are on the road this Saturday, at Newbury, while Exeter's last game the following week will be at fifth-placed Doncaster, who are no mugs themselves.