Monaghan 1-10 Cavan 0-12
Monaghan will contest next month's Ulster SFC final after Conor McManus' six-point haul helped them defeat Cavan in tonight's derby clash in Clones.
The Farney men are through to face reigning champions Donegal in the Anglo-Celt Cup decider after coming good in the second half of this tight affair.
The sides were held scoreless during a slow-burning opening eight minutes, although Monaghan went close to grabbing a goal. They might had a penalty from the incident after Alan Clarke appeared to force a scrambled shot from Christopher McGuinness off the line with his hand.
The Breffni outfit edged ahead thanks to two points from play from Eugene Keating and midfielder David Givney, the latter moving well and getting into a good position to profit from a fine Killian Clarke run.
Monaghan responded with a 13th minute goal when Cavan goalkeeper Conor Gilsenan saw his short kick-out intercepted and McGuinness was put through for a well-taken finish to the net.
The goal seemed to bring more out of Cavan however and a run of three excellent points from distance - Givney, Cian Mackey and Niall McDermott were the scorers - moved them back in front at 0-6 to 0-1 ten minutes before the break.
It was then Monaghan's turn to have a period of slight dominance with McManus floating over two frees to square things up. Givney teed up Martin Dunne to cancel that score out but Darren Hughes powered through centre-field to tie it for the interval at 0-8 to 1-5.
Although defences were on top again for a considerable early spell in the second half, McManus showed the way for Monaghan with a cracking effort from the right in the 48th minute.
The sight of Dick Clerkin, an injury doubt beforehand, entering the fray two minutes later gave Monaghan a timely boost. The game ebbed and flowed once again as Niall McDermott kicked a free for Cavan and Paul Finlay, another man to come on for the winners, and Dunne swapped frees.
But McManus was growing in influence and his fifth and sixth points of the night edged Monaghan ahead as they looked to qualify for their first provincial final since their 2007 defeat to Tyrone.
Finlay added his second pointed free to bring that dream closer to reality. Placed balls would ultimately be enough to win this scrappy tie and Cavan, despite no lack of effort, failed to score from play in the entire second half.
The two-point gap was enough as although goalkeeper Gilsenan converted a '45' in injury-time and his opposite number Rory Beggan was fortunate not to whistled up for over-carrying, Monaghan held on to book a return trip to Clones on July 21.
MONAGHAN: R Beggan; D Mone, D Wylie, C Walshe; V Corey, N McAdam, K Duffy; O Lennon, D Hughes (0-1); S Gollogly, G Doogan, T Freeman ; C McGuinness (1-0), K Hughes (0-1), C McManus (0-6, 0-3f).
Subs used: P Finlay (0-2, 0-2f) for Freeman (44 mins), D Clerkin for Doogan (52), K O'Connell for McAdam (60), P Donaghy for McGuinness (65), D Malone for Gollogly (70).
CAVAN: C Gilsenan (0-1, 0-1 '45'); J McLoughlin, R Dunne, K Clarke; J McEnroe (0-1), A Clarke, R Flanagan; D O'Reilly, D Givney (0-2); C Mackey (0-1), K Brady, F Flanagan; N McDermott (0-3, 0-2f), M Dunne (0-3, 0-2f), E Keating (0-1).
Subs: M Reilly for Brady (48), T Corr for McEnroe (61), J Brady for McDermott, K Tierney for M Dunne (both 70+1).
Referee: Marty Duffy (Sligo)