TWO OF Gold Coast's brightest young stars had chances to be heroes in the final stages of Wednesday night's thrilling draw against Essendon – but both failed.

With the Suns trailing by a point and less than two minutes remaining, Ben King, who had just kicked a miraculous goal, took a towering overhead mark but missed his 40m set shot to the right to level the scores. 

>>WATCH THE HIGHLIGHTS IN THE PLAYER ABOVE

And then with less than a minute to go, whiz-kid Izak Rankine took a contested mark on the 50m arc, and after taking his full allotment of time, dragged his set shot well wide to the left.

03:04 Mins
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Watch the last two minutes: GC v Ess

Relive the thrilling final moments between the Suns and the Bombers

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The ball remained in play and two stoppages later, the scores finished 11.7 (73) apiece.

SUNS v BOMBERS Full match coverage and stats

It was the second draw of the season and leaves Essendon two points outside the top eight.

The result was another heartbreaker for Gold Coast who lost to St Kilda by four points last start and the Western Bulldogs by five two matches earlier.

00:45 Mins
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King's magical moment sends stadium berserk

Ben King produces a stunning solo effort to tie the scores late in the game

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Essendon trailed by 18 points three minutes into the last quarter after Lachie Weller kicked his second goal but they finished full of running.

Veteran David Zaharakis kicked two clutch goals midway through the term before limping off with a quadricep injury and Kyle Langford gave his team the lead with a late set shot.

01:03 Mins
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Dons asked for a hero and super Zaka has answered

David Zaharakis nails two crucial goals from similar spots to keep the Bombers in the fight

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Zach Merrett topped the ball-winners with 31 disposals, while Andrew McGrath had 19 at half-time but was quelled by a Touk Miller tag thereafter to finish with 26.

For the Suns Brandon Ellis, Hugh Greenwood and Weller all finished with 18 touches.

Could Stewart be the answer?
With injuries to main men Joe Daniher and Jake Stringer, the Bombes have been looking for a forward line target, and James Stewart has answered. Playing his third game after a two-year absence, Stewart kicked three goals and looked a constant threat. He beat in-form Sun Sam Collins on the lead twice in the first half and then took a strong mark to convert his third before the final change.

Rankine dazzles yet again
Every week Gold Coast's rising star does something jaw-dropping and Wednesday night was no exception. Despite his late miss, he still offered plenty of highlights. After caressing a goal from 50m early in the second quarter, he unleashed a two-minute burst that had everyone shaking their heads. Rankine roved a forward 50 stoppage but missed the quick kick at goal before seconds later mowing down Adam Saad from behind to force a turnover. He then sharked another forward 50 stoppage yet somehow missed the relatively straightforward snap from 30m. 

00:45 Mins
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You just can't leave Rankine or he'll do this

Izak Rankine is afforded too much time and space and makes the Bombers pay with a beautiful kick from 50

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Bombers shoot themselves in the foot
Essendon will be cursing its lack of attention to detail. Despite matching or shading the Suns in most statistical categories, the Bombers trailed by 19 at half-time and most of it was their own doing. They casually watched on as David Swallow handballed to a nearby Lachie Weller – a noted long-range specialist - following a mark. Weller kicked the goal. They also inexplicably gave Izak Rankine 15m of space that cost a goal, and on the stroke of half-time conceded a 50m penalty to Jack Bowes for running through the protected zone. Again, a goal.

GOLD COAST      3.1       7.4       9.5 (59)          11.7 (73)
ESSENDON         1.3       4.3       7.5 (47)          11.7 (73)

GOALS
Gold Coast: Weller 2, King 2, Day 2, Ainsworth, Bowes, Fiorini, Greenwood, Rankine
Essendon: Stewart 3, Zaharakis 3, Langford 2, Bellchambers, Cutler, Snelling

BEST
Gold Coast: Weller, Bowes, Ballard, Ellis, Greenwood
Essendon: Ridley, McGrath, Stewart, Merrett, Shiel, Parish

INJURIES
Gold Coast: Nil
Essendon: Zaharakis (quad)