Mayo showed glimpses of their 2006 form as they recorded a qualifier victory over Cavan at McHale Park.

A Barry Moran goal, allied to the contributions from Conor Mortimer (0-7) and Alan Dillon (0-5), saw John O'Mahony's side bounce back from their Connacht championship exit.

Cavan foraged well and three points from Dermot McCabe left the visitors trailing by just 0-09 to 0-06 at half-time.

McCabe scored a penalty to put Cavan ahead and although Jason Reilly and Rory Gallagher also scored goals, Mayo saw out the win.

There were two particularly pleasing aspects of this win for O'Mahony and the Mayo set-up; firstly, the return of midfield ace Ronan McGarrity to competitive football after his treatment for testicular cancer, and also the performance of goalscorer Barry Moran, whose 6ft 5in frame and footballing skills mark him out as a modern day target man.

The Castlebar youngster, was came on as a substitute in last year's All-Ireland final, stood out, quite literally, at full-forward for Mayo and could be a central figure as O'Mahony tries to nail down a quarter-final berth.

McGarrity came on in the 26th minute to replace team captain Peadar Gardiner and despite his long lay-off, he still showed some of the old touches which marked him out as one of the best midfielders in the country.

In what was a high quality game, Mayo edged the opening stages to take a 0-03 to 0-02.

Gerald Pierson grabbed Cavan's opening point after a free had bounced down off the post before Trevor Mortimer, who was used as a half-back, pointed in the third minute.

Pierce Hanley, making his first Championship start, was then set up off an Andy Moran free for his first point and Moran replied to a McCabe point to maintain Mayo's one point advantage.

Mayo missed two goal chances in the opening half - Hanley worked himself into a position on the left before shooting off an upright and Cavan goalkeeper James Reilly did well to keep out a Barry Moran effort after the Mayo number 14 had collected a ball in from David Brady.

A foot block handed Cavan a penalty chance at the start of the second half and McCabe took full advantage of the opportunity by delivering a neat finish to the corner of Clarke's net.

Reilly and Moran then traded goals - the latter's strike helping Mayo back into a five point lead as Mortimer and Man of the Match Dillon pilled on the points.

Moran managed to goal on the rebound after a dinked shot from Conor Mortimer had come back out invitingly for the big Mayo full-forward.

McCabe teed up substitute Gallagher for Cavan's third goal in the final minutes, but by that time Mayo were out of sight and no doubt focusing on building on this performance in the second round.

Mayo: D Clarke; A Higgins, L O'Malley, T Howley; P Gardiner, D Kilcullen, T Mortimer (0-01); D Heaney (0-01), D Brady; BJ Padden, P Hanley (0-02), A Dillon (0-05, 2f); C Mortimer (0-07, 4f), B Moran (1-00), A Moran (0-02).

Subs used: R McGarrity for Gardiner, G Brady (0-01) for Padden, T Cunniffe for Higgins, J Nallen for D Brady.

Cavan: James Reilly; M Mannion, D Sheridan, K Fannin; R Flanagan, J Crowe, M Reilly; D McCabe (1-04, 1-00 pen, 3f), N Walsh; R Cullivan (0-01), A Forde, L Reilly (0-01); M McKeever; S Brady, G Pierson (0-01).

Subs used: D Sheridan for Crowe, C Mackey for Cullivan, Jason Reilly (1-00) for Pierson; R Gallagher (1-00) for L Reilly.

Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois).