A depleted midfield has proved no barrier for the GWS Giants to set up the most memorable AFLW win in the club’s short history.
Missing Rebecca Beeson (injured), Alyce Parker (Concussion) and Chloe Dalton (suspended), the Giants overran Geelong in the second half to win by 18 points, 8.5 (53) to 5.5 (35) at Geelong’s Kardinia Park.
Giants skipper Alicia Eva led a young on-ball brigade that provided enough opportunities for forward Cora Staunton to boot four goals.
Staunton was ably assisted by young Jess Doyle with two timely contributions late in the third term after an even first half.
It was the Giants’ highest score of the season and the ability to make the most of the inside 50 entries proved a decisive difference, particularly in the second half as the visitors applied intense pressure at the contests.
Fittingly, it was Staunton who put the finishing touches to the win with two goals in the fourth quarter, the last one inside the final minute that propelled her to equal leader on the AFLW goal-kicking list.
With both teams out of finals contention, coaches Dan Lowther (Geelong) and Alan McConnell (GWS) made several radical positional changes from early in the match to experiment with players for next season.
Geelong had every opportunity to finish a dismal season on a high on home turf as Amy McDonald and Georgie Prespakis controlled the midfield contests for most of the night.
But the home team could not find a way to goal in the second half and failed to score in the last quarter when trailing by only five points at three-quarter time.
Chloe Scheer kicked two goals for the match and McDonald recorded 25 disposals for the Cats in a disappointing outing for the home side.