ELF: Tirol Raiders secure crucial win over defending champion Frankfurt Galaxy

Austria’s Raiders Tirol have secured a crucial 23-17 win over the European League of Football (ELF) 2021 champions, the Frankfurt Galaxy.

The significance of this win for the Raiders cannot be overstated after such a woeful start to the season. Not only did they begin their ELF crusade 0-2, but they also lost to their archrivals, the Vienna Vikings in the home opener.

This gut check seems to have now finally taken hold as they secured a down-to-the-wire victory over one of the league’s better teams in the Galaxy.

The first quarter was an all-out defensive battle as both teams struggled to get over 20 yards on a single drive. This drought ended at the beginning of the second quarter however as Frankfurt’s quarterback Jakeb Sullivan hit Cheikhou Sow on a 33-yard touchdown strike over the middle.

The rest of the half belonged to the Raiders though with quarterback Sean Shelton picking up two scores, one using his legs and the other his arm when he connected with his trusted Austrian slot, Marco Schneider. Another score in the way of a field-goal in the third quarter by the Raiders left the Galaxy in a 17-7 hole.

On the following drive, Sullivan finally managed to find the newly acquired, former NFL receiver, Reece Horn on a back-shoulder fade to bring the Galaxy to within one score. But just as the Galaxy did this, Tirol utilized a dominant rushing attack to put them in position for another Schneider score.

The Galaxy were able to put one more drive together but stingy defense from the Raiders allowed only a field goal. Tirol ran the rest of the clock for the win which pushed them above .500 and second place in the Central Conference above the Galaxy.

Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who works in journalism and communications in the third sector. Daniel began playing football for the London Warriors and Team Great Britain and has since played across Europe.