However Tipp’s 0-11 to 0-8 win over Offaly ensures the Breffni men retain their Division 3 status for 2013. The Saffrons crashed home a hat-trick of goals in a four-minute spell which left Cavan on the cusp of relegation.
Antrim boss Liam Bradley included six debutants in his starting line-up but it was Cavan who lacked cohesion in the early stages.
An Aodhan Gallagher goal gave Antrim a 0-5 to 1-4 lead at the break. Further goals from James Loughry and Colm Duffin after the break propelled the Saffrons into a 4-4 to 0-6 lead.
Antrim did themselves no favours thereafter as Martin Johnson saw red on the hour mark after an off-the ball incident.
Cavan huffed and puffed to snatch the goals needed to get them out of jail but, pointedly, the news drifting from Clonmel illicited the biggest cheer of the day from the home crowd.
Scorers for Cavan: M Dunne 0-7 (5fs), D Reilly, P O’Reilly, D Givney, S Gaffney, N McDermott 0-1 each.
Scorers for Antrim: J Loughry 2-2, C Duffin 1-1, A Gallagher 1-0, T McCann 0-2fs, S McDonagh 0-1.
CAVAN: K Fannin; D Barkey, D Reilly, R Flanagan; D O’Dowd, P O’Reilly, R Maloney-Derham; D Givney, R Cullivan; N Smith, M McKeever, N Murray; B Fitzpatrick, N McDermott, M Dunne.
Subs: S Jordan for D O’Dowd (39), D McKiernan for B Fitzpatrick (39), K Meehan for N Murray (41), S Gaffney for R Maloney-Derham (54), B McKiernan for M Dunne (inj. 67).
ANTRIM: W McSorley; T Scullion, J Crozier, K O’Boyle; P Gallagher, M Johnson, D O’Hagan; S McDonagh, C Murray; T McCann, M Sweeney, J Loughry; C Duffin, A Gallagher, O Gallagher.
Subs: K Brady for C Duffin (57), M Armstrong for O Gallagher (65).
Referee: D Fahy (Longford).