Cavan 0-17 Down 0-14
Cavan gave their promotion push a huge tonic at Kingspan Breffni Park after an all-action Division Two battle against Ulster rivals Down.
Mattie McGleenan’s side crucially out-scored their opponents by 0-4 to 0-1 in the final 10 minutes to secure the spoils and go four points clear of Tipperary and Roscommon on top of the table.
Down showed improved form but they were to rue three gilt-edged goal chances which they spurned at key times either side of the interval.
A hat-trick of unanswered points coloured a dominant run into the interval by Cavan with Gearóid McKiernan’s effort on 29 minutes especially pleasing on the eye as they cut Down’s lead to the minimum, 0-6 to 0-7.
In an otherwise sporting tie, Down supremo Eamonn Burns was remanded by referee Pádraig O'Sullivan but escaped a card as tempers erupted along the sideline after the half-time whistle had sounded.
Even with the breeze at their backs, Cavan laboured to eat into their opponents' half-time lead (0-7 to 0-6) but a gem apiece from Cian Mackey and McKiernan edged the Blues ahead once more.
Back came Down though with pace and panache only for Cavan goalkeeper Raymond Galligan to deflect daisycutters from Ryan Johnston and Donal O'Hare clear in quick succession.
Cavan finished with a flourish though and a gem from sub Seanie Johnston ignited a winning run to the chequered flag.
CAVAN: R Galligan (0-1, a 45); J McLoughlin, P Faulkner, Conor Brady; M Reilly, Ciarán Brady, E Flanagan; S Murray, B Magee (0-1, free); D McVeety (0-1), C Moynagh (0-1), O Kiernan (0-1); N Clerkin, G McKiernan (0-4), C O'Reilly (0-3, two frees).
Subs: C Mackey (0-2) for Conor Brady (25 mins); A Cole for N Clerkin (h/t); C Bradley (0-2) for C Moynagh (45); S Johnston (0-1) for E Flanagan (65); K Clarke for S Murray (68).
DOWN: M Reid; C Flanagan, B McArdle, A Doherty (0-2, both frees); R Wells, N McParland, C Mooney (0-1); P Turley, N Donnelly; C Francis, C Maginn, S Millar (0-2); C Harrison (0-3, one free), D O'Hare (0-4, three frees), R Johnston (0-1).
Subs: K McKernan (0-1) for C Francis (45 mins); D McKibbin for S Millar (inj, 57); C Poland for N Donnelly (60); R Millar for D O'Hare (68).
Referee: P O'Sullivan (Kerry)