AS FAR as most exciting 'non-traditional' rivalries go, Sydney and Essendon has to be one of the best.

As the teams prepare to square off at the SCG on Saturday night, a look back over recent history suggests we're in for one hell of a contest.

Since 2010, the Bombers and Swans have played 17 times, with 11 of those matches decided by two goals or less.

Even more recently, no more than 10 points have separated the teams the last five times they've played.

The one constant over the past 12 years has been Sydney veteran Josh Kennedy, who was playing his 24th career match when the string of close encounters began.

With so many nailbiting finishes between the clubs, there are plenty of highlights to look back on. Here's five of the best.

Leroy Jetta celebrates as Adam Goodes rues his missed shot on goal during round 20, 2011. Picture: AFL Photos

Round 20, 2011

In a nip-and-tuck affair all night, it came down to the ultimate drama.

Essendon led by two points when dual Brownlow medallist Adam Goodes stormed out to take a mark on the lead 50m from goal.

As Goodes walked back to take his shot, the siren sounded.

The Swans' champion flushed his set shot, but it drifted ever-so-slightly to the left, leaving the Bombers one-point victors.

Essendon players celebrate on the siren during round 20, 2011. Picture: AFL Photos

Round 11, 2012

What looked like one-way traffic most of the night turned into a memorable match as Essendon roared back in the fourth quarter.

The Bombers trailed by 47 points at the last change before banging on nine goals to two to get within striking distance.

With the clock ticking down Courtenay Dempsey took a mark just outside 50 at left half-forward, but alas, he took two steps off his line to launch the ball for home as the siren sounded.

The match was over without Dempsey getting a chance to be the hero.

02:41 Mins
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Swans outlast Bombers in 2012 classic

Relive last season's round 11 encounter when Essendon and the Sydney Swans met at Etihad Stadium

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Round 14, 2017

In one of the more remarkable finishes of any match in the past decade, Sydney literally stole victory from the jaws of defeat in this Friday night classic at the SCG.

The Swans were 19 points behind deep into the fourth quarter and still 12 behind with 90 seconds remaining, but managed to pocket the four points with a Gary Rohan goal-after-the-siren.

Nic Newman got them within a goal, then when Lance Franklin bombed from 55m for a behind with 30 seconds on the clock, the home team's chances looked dashed.

But Tom Papley smothered the kick-in to force a boundary throw-in and Dane Rampe fashioned a kick to the goal-line when Rohan took a contested mark seconds before the siren sounded.

03:26 Mins
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Last Two Mins: Syd v Ess, 2017 - Rohan, 'it is unbelievable!'

The reaction from Sydney coach John Longmire epitomises a stunning end in Round 14, 2017

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Round eight, 2019

The game that will forever be known as the 'Dane Rampe Game'.

With Essendon trailing by five points in another Friday night belter at the SCG, David Myers took a mark 55m from goal as the siren sounded.

The result rested on his 60m drop punt, ensuring a scrum of players headed to Sydney's defensive goalsquare.

As Myers ran in, Rampe climbed the left-hand goalpost and began shaking it – a rule that could have, and possibly should have, cost his team a 50m penalty and the four premiership points.

It wasn't paid, Myers' kick landed short, and the Swans won.

03:29 Mins
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Last two minutes: The tackle that makes Buddy stand up, Myers' wink

A thrilling finish between the Swans and Essendon in round eight

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Round two, 2020

This match was among the first played after the season was halted for the outbreak of COVID-19.

Played in front of almost no fans at the SCG (the official attendance was 337), what it lacked in atmosphere it made up for in contest.

Essendon had its nose in front all night, but it took a brilliant Darcy Parish set shot with 40 seconds remaining to push the lead out to seven points and ice the victory.

03:55 Mins
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Watch the last two minutes: Syd v Ess

Enjoy the thrilling final moments between the Swans and the Bombers

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