Kildare had too much firepower for Cavan as they booked their place in the second round of the All-Ireland SFC qualifiers with a 1-18 to 1-13 win at Newbridge.
Larry Reilly's 11th-minute goal had Cavan leading 1-03 to 0-01 but just two minutes later, Ronan Sweeney bulged the visitors' net after a John Divilly point attempt had dropped short.
Four John Doyle points and two excellent overs from Mick Foley helped Kildare go in at the break with a 1-10 to 1-05 lead.
Seanie Johnston (0-06) led the Cavan fight-back. The Breffni men were back within two points on four separate occasions in the second half but the hosts held on with late points from Doyle and championship debutant Tommy Archbold seeing them through.
Cavan's forwards were on fire in the opening minutes with Reilly's goal topping off their purple patch. But a Doyle free and Sweeney’s effort, which saw him fool a hesitant defence, soon settled Kildare.
Having come into the clash with a poor record in the qualifiers – one win in six games since 2001 – the hosts might have been weary after their bad start. However, when Dermot Earley and Killian Brennan began to dictate midfield, there was a sense of urgency about Kildare's play.
After Reilly’s goal, the Lilywhites scored 1-04 without reply with points from newcomer Tomas O’Connor, Doyle, Padraig O'Neill and Brennan carved around Sweeney’s strike.
O'Neill put Kildare ahead for the first time – 1-04 to 1-03 – in the 19th-minute. They added a further four points through Brennan, Doyle (0-02) and defender Foley – who shot over off his left and right – before wing back Martin Cahill kicked a Cavan over on 34 minutes.
DCU star Johnston managed a free for the visitors in injury-time, but even that point was cancelled out by further efforts from Earley, Archbold and Doyle.
Cavan substitutes Jason O'Reilly (0-02) and Ronan Flanagan kicked the second half’s first three points to cut the gap to 1-08 to 1-11.
Neat play from Johnston saw him score four points in the second half, captain Anthony Forde curled over an excellent point off the outside of his right boot, but Cavan’s lack of potency was going against them.
Doyle, who forced James Reilly into an stunning late save, Earley and O'Neill - Kildare's stand-out players - steadied the home side with Archbold clipping over the closing point, his second of the evening, in the dying minutes.
Kildare: E Murphy; A O'Loughlin, K O'Neill, M Hogarty; M Foley (0-02), J Divilly, A Rainbow; K Brennan (0-01), D Earley (0-03); J Doyle (0-06 (4f, 1 '45)), J Kavanagh, R Sweeney (1-00); T Archbold (0-02), T Connor (0-01), P O'Neill (0-02).
Subs used: T Fennin (0-01) for Kavanagh (62 mins), E Callaghan for Rainbow (63), M Fitzharris for Sweeney (70).
Cavan: J Reilly; M Hannon, C Collins, K Fannin; M Cahill (0-01), A Forde (0-01), A Gaynor; D McCabe, L Mulvey; M McKeever, S Brady (0-01), M Brides; L Reilly (1-00), E O'Reilly (0-01), S Johnston (0-06 (5f)).
Subs used: R Flanagan (0-01) for Brides (26 mins), E King for Mulvey (32), J Reilly (0-02) for McKeever (half time), P Reilly for Cahill (48), J Jordan for Gaynor (62).
Referee: Michael Meade (Limerick).