Tyrone certainly didn't have it all their own way, but they delivered a powerful second half to win their third title in a row last night.
Mickey Harte's side trailed by four points towards the end of a first half that Cavan had totally bossed, but crucially scored 1-1 in injury-time, Plunkett Kane with the only goal of the game, to draw level at the break.
Cavan had Killian Brady sent off after 49 minutes and ultimately the gap between Division 1 and 3 was exposed as Cavan struggled with Tyrone's speed of play. Tyrone had eight different players on the scoresheet and outscored their opponents by 10 points to three on a total dominant second half.
Cavan belied their Division 3 status by starting with an intensity and aggression in their tackling that Tyrone struggled to match. In front of a crowd of 4,597, the Breffni men raced into a three-point lead with their prolific inside forward line of Martin Dunne and Eugene Keating really on song.
Kyle Coney sent over Tyrone's first point in the 11th minute, a score they badly needed with Cavan the team with all the momentum. Eugene Keating was out in front of his marker Danny McBride every time and judged the wind perfectly to fire over three points in the first half.
Martin Dunne was just as dangerous as Keating and managed 0-4 in the opening period but Niall Morgan's long-range frees, kept Tyrone in touch.
Sean Cavanagh, bidding to win his first trophy as Tyrone captain, showed some leadership to burst through from centre half-forward to tap the ball over the bar, but Cavan still led by 0-8 to 0-4 with half-time approaching.
For all Cavan's superiority, they only went in level at the break with Tyrone scoring 1-1 in first-half injury-time.
Cavan were reduced to 14 men on 49 minutes when Brady, who had been booked in the first-half, then received a black card for a foul on PJ Lavery. Cavan could not handle Tyrone's counter-attack and their defence was all at sea. Tyrone carved them open at will but couldn't get the second goal they needed to kill the game.
PJ Lavery got bottled up just as he was about to shoot but Mark Donnelly made sure Tyrone got something out of the attack with another point and Coney also scored on the break.
The scores dried up for Cavan in the second half and substitute David Givney ended a 17 minute scoring drought with a long-range score. Having put so much effort into the first half, Cavan wilted in the final quarter and there was inevitability about the result long before the final whistle.
Scorers – Tyrone: K Coney 0-5 (2fs), N Morgan 0-3 (3fs), P Kane 1-0, P McNeice 0-3, S Cavanagh, M Donnelly, N McKenna, C McGinley 0-1 each Cavan: M Dunne 0-4 (2fs), E Keating 0-3, C Mackey 0-3, D Givney 0-1.
TYRONE – N Morgan; PJ Quinn, D McBride, R McKenna; R McNabb, D Carlin, T McCann; N McKenna, S Cavanagh; PJ Lavery, C Cavanagh, P Kane; P McNeice, M Donnelly, K Coney. Subs: C Grugan for C Cavanagh (h-t), C McGinley for McNabb (48), A McCrory for McBride (54), E McKenna for Kane (57), S McGuigan for Lavery (67), P Hughes for Donnelly (67)
CAVAN – A O'Mara; J Hayes, R Dunne, K Brady; D Barkey, J McLoughlin, J McEnroe; D McKiernan, D O'Reilly; M Reilly, N McDermott, M Argue; C Mackey, M Dunne, E Keating. Subs: D Givney for Barkey (46), N Smith for M Dunne (52), G McKiernan for D McKiernan (54), K Tierney for McDermott (62), M McKeever for Hayes (66), P Leddy for McLoughlin (70)
REF – M McNally (Monaghan)