The Northern Stars held on to open their account with an upset 66-64 win over defending champions Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel to kick-start Super Sunday's opening round in Hamilton on Sunday.
With the return of two greats of the game in midcourter Temepara Bailey and defender Leana de Bruin, the Stars showed they mean business in 2019 by producing a sizzling opening quarter.
However, it was young guns Maia Wilson and Mila Reuelu-Buchanan who delivered the early fireworks.
Moving north from the Pulse in the off-season, wing attack Reuelu-Buchanan formed a reliable and impressive combination with shooter Wilson, who was rock-solid in her movement and accuracy as the Stars rocketed out to a 21-15 lead at the first break.
In fine form, Wilson was a standout throughout the match with her consistency of play and fine return of 51 goals from 57 attempts.
Athletic wing defence Kayla Cullen made her long-awaited return from injury to take over from Holly Fowler as the Stars hit back late in the piece to restore their advantage when leading 37-34 at halftime.
After clawing their way back from a 10-goal deficit to level the scores with just over three minutes to go, the Steel were eventually pipped by a clutch goal from Australian import Charlee Hodges and a Cullen pick-up as the Stars held their nerve to close out a narrow win.
In the second game of the day, the Good Oil Tactix beat the Splice Construction Magic 48-42.
Ellie Bird was the star for the Tactix, scoring 40 goals from 41 attempts.