McKiernan class rocks Louth
Struggling Cavan put one over promotion-chasing Louth in a poor game at Kingspan/Breffni Park.
The Ulstermen got a boost in the 40th minute when Louth defender Declan Byrne was dismissed.
Cavan lacked confidence, but the visitors went from the 19th to the 57th minute without raising a flag.
Niall McDermott's three first-half points settled Cavan's nerves and Gearoid McKiernan played a key role in sealing the result with a terrific brace.
It was 0-2 apiece after 16 minutes. Louth could then have had two goals, but Cavan 'keeper James Reilly foiled Paraic Smith, and then Smith opted to take his point from 12 metres.
Cavan led 0-6 to 0-3 at the break, and then came Byrne's rather harsh dismissal. The hosts struggled to make the most of their advantage, but McKiernan's brace put them 0-9 to 0-3 ahead.
Louth sub Mark Brennan bagged a goal on 59 minutes and Smith added a point.
It was backs-to-the-wall stuff for Cavan but Ronan Flanagan grabbed a vital point on the hour mark.
Man of the Match: Gearoid McKiernan
SCORERS -- Cavan: G McKiernan, N McDermott (1f) 0-3 each, C Mackey 0-2 (2f), M McKeever, R Flanagan, S Johnston 0-1 each. Louth: M Brennan 1-0, P Keenan, P Smith 0-2 each, E McAuley 0-1.
Cavan -- J Reilly 8; O Minagh 6, T Corr 7, D O'Dowd 6; M McKeever 6, P O'Reilly 6, D O'Reilly 7; J McCutcheon 6, G McKiernan 8; N Murray 6, R Cullivan 6, R Flanagan 7; N McDermott 8, E Keating 6, C Mackey 6. Subs: S Jordan 5 for E Keating (h-t), G Smith 5 for S Jordan (54), S Johnston 6 for R Cullivan (58), M Brennan 5 for G McKiernan (63), K Fannin for N Murray (69).
Louth -- S Connor 7; D Byrne 7, A Hoey 7, G Hoey 6; D Crilly 6, D Finnegan 6, S Fitzpatrick 6; R Carroll 6, B Donnelly 7; A McDonnell 6, P Keenan 7, R Finnegan 6; D Maguire 6, P Smith 6, C Judge 6.
Subs: M Brennan 6 for D Maguire (h-t), E McAuley 6 for S Fitzpatrick (h-t), A Reid 5 for A McDonnell (44), J Carr 5 for D Finnegan (47), JP Rooney 5 for C Judge (54).
Ref -- G Walsh (Antrim).