Leinster champions Kildare held out in the face of a storming Cavan revival in a thrilling finale.
The Lilywhites seemed to be coasting to victory when they deservedly led by 10 points in the opening half.
Ciarán Kelly’s goal left them ahead 1-4 to 0-0 after 17 minutes and that lead eventually stretched to 1-8 to 0-1.
A Cavan rally saw them hit quick-fire goals from Thomas Edward Donohoe and James Brady but Kildare still enjoyed a 1-11 to 2-2 cushion at the break.
The difference was down to three points before Jimmy Hyland struck for a second Kildare goal on 42 minutes.
However Brendan Hackett’s charges only managed a single point for the remainder of the game as Cavan seized the initiative.
The Breffni men scored four unanswered points and were reduced to 14 men after midfielder Conor Brady was dismissed on a black card, after earlier picking up a yellow.
Cavan laid siege on the Kildare gaol in the closing minutes and almost snatched a sensational winning goal when full forward David Brady gained possession but his thunderous effort was deflected out for a fruitless ‘45.
C Kelly (1-7, 5fs), J Hyland (1-4,1f), M Kelly, R Feely, E O’Donohue (0-1 each).
T E Donohoe (1-3), J Brady (1-0), R Fitzpatrick (0-3, 2fs), D Brady (1f, 1 ’45), D Gannon, D Raythorne (0-2 each).
D Campbell; R Slattery, M Joyce, D Lawlor; S Healy, S Ryan, G Burke; D Courtney, R Feely; C Hartley, E O’Donoghue, S Lawler; C Kelly, M Kelly, J Hyland.
S Doran for Hartley (48), K O’Callaghan for Ryan (black 50), T Archbold for Healy (53), K Flynn for M Kelly (59).
F O’Rourke; L Fortune, P O’Reilly, L Fay-Cooper; D Raythorne, D Monahan, D Wilson; D Kennedy, C Brady; R O’Neill, T E Donohoe, R Clarke; R Fitzpatrick, D Brady, J Brady.
D Gannon for O’Neill (30), C Smith for J Brady (40), S Smith for Gannon (47).
J Molloy (Galway)