Cavan bounced back from their twenty one point Ulster semi-final defeat at the hands of Tyrone last weekend to overcome Donegal by a single point – 1-11 to 1-10 – in Kingspan Breffni Park.
Larry Reilly bagged Cavan's goal half-way through the first period, propelling his side into a 1-4 to 0-1 lead. The corner forward was sent on his way by Mark McKeever after Jason Reilly broke the ball away from Donegal’s Raymond Sweeney.
Finbar Reilly took three pointed frees while Jason Reilly and McKeever took a point each for the Breffni men. Brian Roper scored from play and Colm McFadden registered from a free for Donegal, leaving the scores at 1-06 to 0-02 to Cavan at half-time.
Donegal hit three points to Cavan’s two upon the resumption, but the home side were still in control and 1-8 to 0-5 in front.
A Brendan Devenney goal fifteen minutes into the half sparked a Donegal revival but Cavan could thank keeper James Reilly for their victory as he brought off two wonder saves from Colm McFadden and Devenney.
Devenney knocked over two late points in injury time but Cavan held on for a victory their overall performance just about deserved.
Cavan: J Reilly; M Hannon, D Rabbitt, P O’ Reilly; M Cahill, A Forde (0-1), P Reilly; D McCabe, P McKenna; M McKeever (0-1), N Walsh, F Reilly (0-6,4F); J O’ Reilly, M Graham, L Reilly (1-2)
Subs: M Lyng for M Graham; S Johnson for L Reilly; P Brady for D McCabe:
Donegal: M Boyle; E McGee, R Sweeney, K Lacey; D Diver, B Monaghan, S Carr; S McDermott, N Gallagher; C Toye, M Hegarty, B Roper (0-1); C McFadden (0-3F), A Sweeney (0-1), B Devenney (1-5,2F)
Subs: C Dunne for A Sweeney; B Dunnion for B Monaghan; R Bradley for M Hegarty:
Referee: E Murtagh Longford