The Giants had only gone inside-50 nine times to 19 in the first half, but had seven scoring shots from their entries, and by three-quarter-time, they had 12 scoring shots from 15 entries, to boast a five-point lead that was never squandered.
Amy McDonald (25 disposals) and Georgie Prespakis (19 disposals) had set the midfield tone for the Cats early, but the Giants – without midfielders Chloe Dalton, Alyce Parker and Rebecca Beeson – were more consistent across the ground.
Staunton, a four-time All-Irelands champion and winner of three Ladies’ National Football League titles with Mayo in Gaelic football, sealed the win with less than a minute on the clock when she slotted her fourth goal of the night, to draw equal with Harris.
Ruck Erin McKinnon had an outstanding 47 hitouts, while Alicia Eva posted 13 kicks, four handballs and nine tackles in the win.
McDonald finished with 11 tackles and nine clearances, while Prespakis claimed 13 tackles and five clearances, the pair proving Geelong’s best across the four quarters. Chloe Scheer was her side’s most dangerous up forward, kicking 2.2.
The Cats ended their season with a 3-6 win-loss record, an improvement on their 1-8 standing in 2021.
Geelong 3.1, 4.3, 5.5, 5.5 (35)
GWS Giants 2.0, 4.2, 6.4, 8.5 (53)
Goals: Cats: Scheer 2, McWilliams, Webster, Darby. Giants: Staunton 4, Doyle 2, Garnett, Loynes.
Best: Cats: McDonald, Prespakis, Scheer, Moloney, Gardiner. Giants: Staunton, McKinnon, Eva, Barr, Garnett