Cavan are one step closer to a double with the Allianz League Division 4 champions now Tailteann Cup finalists thanks to victory over Sligo in Croke Park.

Although powerful at times against Yeats County in an entertaining semi-final, Cavan were fortunate that Tony McEntee's side missed a number of gilt-edged goal chances, with the woodwork and last-ditch clearances helping the Ulster county.

The clash of Sligo and Cavan – the first of the day's two Tailteann Cup semi-finals at Croke Park – brought together counties that had previously only met in a championship game in 1928, an All-Ireland Senior Championship semi-final that Cavan won.

They’ve regularly met in the Allianz Football League, however, including this year’s Division Four clash that Cavan won by six points on March 6 at Markievicz Park – a game that saw Sligo finish with 14 players.

In the Tailteann Cup, Cavan recorded confident, straightforward victories – beating Down and Fermanagh.

Sligo, in contrast, were brought to extra-time by both London and Leitrim, beating the latter on penalties in a thrilling quarter-final.

The Connacht county were delighted to have talisman Niall Murphy available, with the Coolera-Strandhill ace named on the bench.

Cavan, breeze-assisted in the opening period, justified their favourites tag to lead by six points, 0-6 to 0-0, by the 14th minute.

Shrewd use of possession and confident, accurate shooting was the basis for Cavan’s early dominance, with six different scorers during this powerful phase.

The best of Cavan’s scores came from Oisin Kiernan and Conor Brady, while James Smith almost flicked a cross from Martin Reilly into the net but Sligo goalkeeper Aidan Devaney smuggled the ball out for a '45’.

Sligo, who were missing chances and dropping shots short, opened their account when Pat Spillane, who improved as the half evolved, pointed in the 15th minute.

Tony McEntee’s men were right back in the mix when Patrick O’Connor converted a 20th minute penalty after an infringement on wing-back Luke Towey by his marker, Gerard Smith.

Points from Pat Hughes and Darragh Cummins brought the gap down a point, 0-7 to 1-3, and the large Sligo attendance were suddenly hopeful.

Cavan were twice let off the hook when Sligo were unlucky with two goal chances. Patrick O’Connor’s cracking 28th minute effort came off the underside of the crossbar and six minutes later Mikey Gordon’s goalbound shot was cleared off the line by Cavan’s Oisin Kiernan.

Cavan recovered their composure in the closing stages of the first-half and extended their lead to five points, 0-11 to 1-3, with Gerard Smith and Gearoid McKiernan landing fine scores.

Sligo brought on Niall Murphy for the second-half and he immediately gave his side an attacking vibrance, kicking two points within four minutes of the restart.

Cavan remained in control - and, crucially, in the lead - although a Hawkeye call was needed to rule over a James Smith effort that was his side's 14th point.

Gerard Smith was also on form for Mickey Graham's side and the wing-forward notched three second-half points.

With 15 minutes left Sligo made it a two-point game, 0-16 to 1-11, but the game was still Cavan's to lose.

Sligo's 11th point - another Niall Murphy score - came after Patrick O'Connor's goalbound shot was hacked off the line.

The winners brought their points tally up to 20, an impressive return on such a big stage, and they might have goaled in the closing stages but Thomas Galligan drilled a goal shot wide.

Sligo battled until the end but couldn't create any goal chances of note as they had done in the first-half.

Cavan: Raymond Galligan (0-01, 1f), Jason McLoughlin, Padraig Faulker, Killian Brady (0-01), Ciaran Brady, Killian Clarke (0-01), Conor Brady (0-01), Thomas Galligan (0-01), James Smith (0-02), Oisin Kiernan (0-01), Gearoid McKiernan (0-04, 1f), Gerard Smith (0-04), Martin Reilly (0-01), Paddy Lynch (0-01), Stephen Smith

Subs used: Cian Madden (0-02) for Martin Reilly 31; Oisin Brady for Stephen Smith 58; Conor Moynagh for Killian Brady 67; Luke Fortune for Ciaran Brady 68; Chris Conroy for Paddy Lynch 70+5

Sligo: Aidan Devaney, Nathan Mullen, Evan Lyons, Paul McNamara, Luke Towey, Darragh Cummins (0-01), Paul Kilcoyne, Peter Laffey, Pat Spillane (0-2), Mikey Gordon, Alan Reilly (0-01), Keelan Cawley, Sean Carrabine (0-03, 2f), Pat Hughes (0-01), Patrick O'Connor (1-02, 1-00 pen, 1 'mark')

Subs used: Niall Murphy (0-4) for Pat Hughes 36; Mark Walsh for Keelan Cawley 53; David Quinn for Darragh Cummins 62; Conor Griffin for Peter Laffey 63; Donal Conlon for Pat Spillane 70

Referee: Fergal Kelly (Longford)