On a day of contrasting emotions at a bitterly cold Kingspan Breffni, Roscommon collected the league trophy and old foes Cavan were condemned to relegation.

The Rossies came into the match minus the services of eight of the starting team from last weekend's impressive win over Armagh while another five of the panel, and manager Anthony Cunningham, were self-isolating after a Covid scare in the camp.

However, they made light of the losses and were deserving winners against a wasteful Cavan side who kicked 16 wides in a performance which was long on perspiration and short on inspiration.

The Blues were too often reliant on pot-shots as they struggled to break down a mean Roscommon defence, who, incidentally, secured a sixth clean sheet in succession.

By the time the first water break arrived, the sides were deadlocked at 0-03 apiece.

The Rossies opened the scoring five minutes in, through a sweetly struck 45 from Donie Smith, which was the first of his five first-half points.

Diarmuid Murtagh and Smith (free) were also on the mark in this quarter, with Cavan, despite playing with a strong wind, struggling to break the visitors down and reduced to long-range pot shots.

They converted three points from over 40 metres via Martin Reilly, Chris Conroy and Cormac O'Reilly, but the second quarter was dominated by the Connacht men, who built up a useful 0-07 to 0-04 half-time lead.

After a great run from Cian McKeon, Fintan Cregg drove over from close range and two well-taken frees from the in-form Smith made it 0-06 to 0-03 on 26 minutes.

Rookie Cormac O’Reilly, son of Breffni great Damien, kicked a wonderful point from the right wing but a fisted point from Donie Smith, who was also denied a goal by a terrific Ray Galligan save, saw Roscommon go in at half-time three to the good.

They extended that lead to four on the restart with a quick point from Ciarain Murtagh and although Cavan hit back through Gearoid McKiernan, Murtagh and Cathal Cregg registered to make it double scores, 0-10 to 0-05.

Sub Oisin Pierson knocked over a free and then Cavan strung together their best move of the match, with Luke Fortune finishing it with a point to leave three between them.

But Roscommon’s response was immediate as they exploited a mix-up at midfield by Cavan and streamed forward, with Enda Smith arriving late to palm to the net.

With sub Thomas Galligan making a difference on kick-outs, Cavan upped their game and pulled back three good points, two from Ciaran Brady and one for Oisin Kiernan.

But Roscommon always seemed to be able to find space at the other end and the excellent Donie Smith curled in a beautiful score to get them going again.

Ray Galligan and Pierson added frees for Cavan but Smith curled in another high-quality score. Cavan pressed hard but Roscommon didn’t look like wobbling, with one half-decent goal chance falling to sub Stephen Smith but producing nothing.

All Cavan could muster was a James Smith point, with a succession of poor shots and weak execution of skills costing them dearly in the closing stages.

Cavan: Raymond Galligan (0-1f), Jason McLoughlin, Killian Brady, Killian Clarke, Gerard Smith, Chris Conroy (0-1), Ciaran Brady (0-2), Gearoid McKiernan (0-1), Padraig Faulkner, Oisin Kiernan (0-1), Martin Reilly (0-1), Cormac O’Reilly (0-2), James Smith (0-1), Conor Madden, Niall Murray

Subs: Oisin Pierson (0-2f) for Murray (29 mins), Luke Fortune (0-1) for K Brady (ht), Stephen Smith for Conroy (42), Thomas Galligan for Madden (47), Oisin Brady for C O’Reilly (60)

Roscommon: Colm Lavin, Fergal Lennon, Sean Mullooly, David Neary, Padraig Scott, Cathal Cregg (0-1), Conor Devaney, Enda Smith (1-0), Tadhg O’Rourke, Niall Kilroy, Cian McKeon, Finbar Cregg (0-1), Donie Smith (0-7, 3f, 45), Diarmuid Murtagh (0-1), Ciarain Murtagh (0-2, 1f)

Subs: Hubert Darcy for F Cregg (45 mins), Ultan Harney for McKeon (47), Henry Walsh for Devaney (47), Andrew Glennon for D Murtagh (60), Jack Casey for C Cregg (68)