Cavan’s division two status for 2020 was confirmed as Dublin cruised to a six point victory and a sixth league defeat of the season.
Jim Gavin’s men looked comfortable as they eased into a 0-8 point to four lead just before the half hour but Martin Reilly cut the gap to one with a fisted goal.
Dean Rock scored six points in the opening half opened the scoring with a free which was quickly cancelled out by a mark from Dara McVeety.
Rock sent over another free before Chris Conroy levelled matters and Cavan hit the front for the first time when Gearoid McKiernan swung in a point from the left wing.
The Dubs, though, would kick five of the next six to put some daylight between the sides. From a quick break, Rock blasted over the bar when a goal was on.
The Ballymun man quickly added three more – one from play, a mark and a free before tempers frayed.
A flashpoint in front of the stand saw at least a dozen players pile in and saw four yellow cards handed out, two to each side.
Paul Mannion added a sweet strike as Dublin continued to hold the hosts at arm’s length. Cavan hit back through Conor Madden but another free from Rock left it at double scores.
And then came Cavan’s goal, Reilly rising to beat Evan Comerford in the air and flick home after McKiernan’s delivery.
The Blues could have hit the front, too, with a Martin Reilly ‘point’ eventually waved wide after one umpire signalled for a score and McVeety hitting the upright from a tight angle.
Cavan levelled on the resumption with a mark from Reilly and Mickey Graham’s charges pushed up as they searched for a second win in this campaign.
Dublin, had another gear, veteran Reilly and Kilkenny traded points before the defining score of the contest arrived three quarters of an hour through the contest.
A mis-hit shot from Rock dropped short and Mannion pounced, grabbing possession and coolly rattling the net to make it 1-9 to 1-6.
And from there, the visitors turned the screw. A point from sub Kevin McManamon and two from Rock (one free) put six between them and more or less put the result beyond doubt.
Cavan had some bright moments in the closing stages, Paul Graham and Killian Clarke registering eye-catching points but Dublin’s lead was never really threatened and they eased home, with Colm Basquel adding the final score.
Cavan: R Galligan, J McLoughlin, P Faulkner, C Moynagh, G Smith, Conor Brady, C Rehill, D McVeety (0-1m), K Clarke (0-1), P Graham, G McKiernan (0-3, 1f), C Conroy (0-1), M Reilly (1-3, 1m), J Galligan, C Madden (0-1)
Subs: B Fortune for McLoughlin (46 mins), J Brady for Madden (49), N Murray for Graham (52), S Murray for Conroy (63)
Dublin: E Comerford, D Daly, D Byrne, C O’Connor, B Howard, C O’Sullivan, J McCarthy, MD Macauley, D Gavin, P Flynn, D Rock (0-9, 5f, 1m), N Scully, C Kilkenny (0-1m), C O’Callaghan, P Mannion (1-3, 1m)
Subs: K McManamon (0-1) for Flynn (43 mins), S Bugler (0-1) for Scully (48), O Kiernan for Smith (50), P McMahon for O’Connor (55), C Basquel (0-1) for Mannion (62), B Brogan for Macauley (65)
Referee: R Hickey (Clare)