The game was a rather low key clash but there were a few flashpoints, not least the booking of seven players as well as a straight red shown to Antrim midfielder Sean McVeigh in the last minute.
For most of the first half, the visitors looked the more threatening and played a dangerous running game. Antrim’s attack was also wasteful but the scores were level three times before David Givney swung over a Cavan point to send them in at half-time leading by 1-5 to 0-7.
It was Givney who made the opening for Mark McKeever to slam home Cavan’s goal on 16 minutes and straight after the restart Tomas Corr missed a golden goal chance for the losers.
Between the 37th and 47th minutes Antrim rifled over five unanswered points and added a Michael Pollock goal to storm into the lead (1-12 to 1-7) for the first time. Cavan hit back with a ‘major’ of their own from the penalty spot — full-forward Martin Dunne drilling a penalty low and they immediately added a point from a free-kick to close the gap to a point – 1-12 to 2-8. But Antrim weathered the storm to start their league campaign with a win.
ANTRIM: C Kerr; K O’Boyle, P Doherty, N Delargy; T Scullion, J Crozier (0-1), J McCarron; S McVeigh (0-1), M McCann; C Murray (0-3), K Niblock (0-1, free), B Herron (0-1); M Pollock (1-1), M Herron (0-3), R Murray (0-3, 2f).
Sub: C Kelly for C Murray (60).
CAVAN: J Reilly; O Minagh, R Dunne, K Clarke; P Reilly A Clarke, J McCutcheon; G McKiernan (0-1), D Givney (0-1); C Mackey, M Reilly, D O’Reilly; M McKeever (1-1), M Dunne (1-4, 1-0 pen, 3fs), N McDermott.
Subs: T Corr (0-1) for P Reilly (25), J Hayes for McCutcheon (half-time), J Brady for M Reilly (half-time), A O Mara for J Reilly (49), D McKiernan (0-1) for K Clarke (69).
Referee: C O’Hagan (Tyrone).