St MIRREN West College Scotland senior women opened their National League campaign with a tricky home fixture against Glasgow Fever, but eventually came out on top with a 76-53 victory at The Lagoon Leisure Centre in Paisley last weekend.

The game started frantically, with former Saints captain Kirstie Semple setting a fast pace for the visitors,

Saints took an early lead, only to be pegged back as Fever took the game to the home side with an up-tempo physical game which saw them establish a five point margin, before a fine three pointer from Nicole Davidson narrowed the lead.

However careless turnovers from Saints saw Fever go to the break with a 9-15 lead.

Early in the second quarter, St Mirren reasserted themselves and began to climb back in to the game with baskets from McKinlay, Davidson, Mitchell and Harris as they took a narrow advantage to lead 18-17.

Careless fouls on both sides brought free throws which disrupted the rhythm of the game until a late three-pointer from Saints’ new Canadian signing – Taryn Turnbull gave the home side a 31-25 lead at half-time.

Saints took the game to their opponents after the break with an early three pointer from Fiona Harris setting out their stall.

Fever were powerless, as Saints went on a scoring spree with a run of a further five three pointers from Cleary, Mitchell, Harris and Davidson twice gave them an almost unassailable 61-33 lead as the buzzer brought welcome relief for a shell-shocked Fever team.

Fever railed in the closing quarter, and took advantage of Coach Chris Cleary’s substitutions to give his bench some court time.

Leanne Renfrew returned for her first game after almost two years out with an ACL injury to play out the last few minutes as Fever grabbed some baskets to out shoot the home side 15-20 in the fourth quarter, but overall they lost out to an improving Saints squad 76-53.

Saints’ top scorer was captain Rebecca Cleary on 20 points, with Fiona Harris on 14 points, and Maddie Ingemarsson and Nicole Davidson both with 11 points.