Dublin registered their fourth successive double-digit victory of the 2020 championship as they eased past Cavan to reach an eighth All-Ireland SFC final in ten years. 

Mickey Graham's team had captured the imagination of neutrals during their remarkable Ulster campaign, which saw them overturn deficits of seven points against Monaghan and ten points against Down, before shocking hot favourites Donegal in the provincial decider. 

But after a bright start, the Ulster champions were always gasping for air against a Dublin side who have now won 38 of their last 41 championship matches, drawing the other three. 

The reigning champions' economy, accuracy, superior decision-making and ability to wriggle out of blind alleys - on the occasions they strayed into them - was once more on full display.

Graham's side at least avoided the fate of Meath in the Leinster final, whose goose was cooked well before half-time. 

It was a free-scoring opening, with both sides trading points at will in the opening 10 minutes. 

Cavan started at full throttle, with the always lively Martin Reilly driving forward and landing a score in the first play of the game. 

James McCarthy tackled by James Smith

James Smith, a late change to the team, starting in place of Conor Smith, notched the Ulster's side second score, while Thomas Galligan, undoubted star of the Ulster final, curled over a smashing point to level the contest on the 7th minute. 

Dublin soon settled into their familiar groove. Ciaran Kilkenny, Brian Fenton and Robbie McDaid had slipped over points in the competitive early exchanges before the champions took control of the contest for the remainder of the first quarter. 

O'Callaghan curled over the first of his four scores before a trio of points from Dean Rock, only one from a free, pushed out the lead to four as neutrals braced for the inevitable. 

Cavan dug in well however, with a free from Gearóid McKiernan and a smashing individual effort from Ciarán Brady preventing the favourites from running too far clear. 

There was a somewhat conservative bent to the Dubs' attacking play in the first half, Kilkenny eschewing a goal opportunity to tap over a  point on 27 minutes. 

Cavan shut down any three-point opportunities but almost slipped up on the half hour when Robbie McDaid intercepted a Galligan pass, fisted a pass to Niall Scully, but the wing forward slipped as he shot and the Cavan rearguard managed to block it away. 

Cavan scramble to prevent a first half goal

The Ulster champions might have snuck in for a goal when Jonny Cooper found himself isolated and on the wrong side of Martin Reilly as the pair contested a drilled, long ball into the full-forward. The Na Fianna player reached across and rather cynically hauled down Reilly as the Cavan attacker was preparing to spin and head for goal. Cooper was spared any sort of card by referee Branagan, much to the bemusement of the Cavan sideline. 

The underdogs were still in with a puncher's chance, trailing by five (0-12 to 0-07) at the break but the fizz disappeared from their game after the restart, as Dubs' began to pick up their gallop. 

Dessie Farrell's side were considerably more goal-hungry after the break but if Cavan were beginning to flounder elsewhere, their rearguard at least held firm for the time-being. 

Kilkenny, who glided around the pitch with his usual elan, stroking over four points, was almost in for a goal early in the second half. His drop-kicked effort beat Galligan and appeared destined for the top corner but wing-forward Martin Reilly, arriving from nowhere, got back to push it over the bar. 

Moments later, a trademarked looped pass from Kilkenny put Con O'Callaghan through on goal but full-back Padraig Faulkner, chasing back, somehow got a hand in to dislodge the ball, preventing a goal.

Still, the All-Ireland champions were now in complete control, with Conor Madden's superb curled effort on 45 minutes the only Cavan score of the third quarter. 

While the goal remained elusive, Dublin continued to clip over points at their ease, Kilkenny, O'Callaghan and the elegant Brian Fenton all pocketing for 0-04 for their evening's work. 

At 0-21 to 0-09, with the game already well beyond them, Cavan managed a brief rally, with three scores in a row, two coming from the tireless Reilly and another from Oisín Kiernan, bringing the margin back to a single-digit one. 

This, in truth, would probably have represented a triumph for Cavan. But there was a final kick from Dublin. 

Cavan substitute Niall Murray gathered a skittery hospital pass, was smothered by a trio of Dublin chasers and stripped of the ball.

They poured forward, smelling a goal at last. The ball was fed to Dean Rock, the two-on-one forming. He tossed a hand-pass across goal to the arriving Robbie McDaid who palmed the ball past Galligan. 

Further points from Fenton, Rock and Costello completed the evening's work.

Cavan finished the game with 14 men as Thomas Galligan was shown a second yellow card for dissent in injury-time but it counted for little at that point.  

A relatively upbeat Mickey Graham acknowledged that Cavan had enjoyed an incredible journey in 2020. Nothing could have happened tonight that would soured their year. 

For Dublin, the next milestone on the agenda is a sixth successive All-Ireland title, the first of Dessie Farrell's reign.

Dublin: Stephen Cluxton; Michael Fitzsimons, David Byrne, Jonny Cooper; Eoin Murchan, John Small, Robert McDaid (1-02); Brian Fenton (0-04), James McCarthy; Niall Scully, Ciaran Kilkenny (0-04, 1m), Seán Bugler; Paddy Small (0-02, 1m), Con O'Callaghan (0-04), Dean Rock (0-06, 2f)

Subs: Brian Howard (0-01) for Bugler (48), Philly McMahon for Cooper (51), Paul Mannion for Paddy Small (54), Cormac Costello (0-01) for Scully (63), Colm Basquel for Rock (70)

Cavan: Raymond Galligan; Jason McLoughlin, Padraig Faulkner, Killian Clarke; Gerard Smith, Ciarán Brady (0-01), Luke Fortune; Thomas Galligan (0-01), Killian Brady; Martin Reilly (0-03), Gearóid McKiernan (0-01, 1f), Oisín Kiernan (0-02); Conor Madden (0-01), Chris Conroy (0-01, 1f), James Smith (0-02)  

Subs: Conor Smith for Killian Brady (17), Stephen Murray for Conroy (34), Niall Murray for Clarke (45), Conor Brady for Conor Smith (51) Stephen Smith for Madden (63)

Ref: Ciaran Branagan