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Depleted GWS overrun Cats in AFLW

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 midfield guns, 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 GMHBA Stadium on Friday night.

Giants skipper Alicia Eva led a young onball brigade that provided enough opportunities for forward Cora Staunton to boot four goals, ably assisted by young Jess Doyle with two timely contributions late in the third term after an even first half.

It was the Sydney team’s 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 last quarter, the last one inside the final minute that propelled her to equal leader on the AFLW goalkicking 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 game 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 couldn’t 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.

Geelong controlled the contest in the first half and would have been disappointed to take only a one-point lead into the main break.

The Cats dominated all the crucial areas, such as centre clearances and contested possessions. But they just couldn’t shake off the persistent Giants.

Three times, Geelong looked poised to break open the game, setting up 13 points buffers, and each time GWS hit back hard to stay right in the fight.

The Cats paid a high price for undisciplined play late in the second quarter.

A 50m penalty allowed the dangerous Staunton to boot a long goal after she ran past the opposition player on the mark.

And another free kick allowed teammate Georgia Garnett to add another goal after the half-time siren.

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