PADDY BRADLEY'S 59th-minute fisted goal gave Derry just the cushion they needed to beat Cavan at Kingspan Breffni Park on Saturday.
Bradley's intervention came after Cavan had awoken from comatose beginnings to cut Derry's advantage from eight points to just three.
The wind-aided Oak Leafers waltzed their way into an 0-11 to 0-3 interval lead with all of their points from open play.
Corner-forward Conleth Gilligan was the stand-out player for the visitors in the first half with five classy points.
Cavan improved on the restart and a brace of points from substitute Gerard Pierson helped cut Derry's lead to four points with 17 minutes to go.
Bradley's goal stopped the rot for Derry and even though Michael Brennan goaled on the hour and Barry Reilly pointed in injury-time, Cavan failed to pull the fat from the fire.
SCORERS -- Derry: P Bradley 1-3, C Gilligan 0-5, B McGoldrick, D Mullan, M Lynch, M Drumm 0-1 each. Cavan: M Brennan 1-1, G Pierson 0-3 (1f), P Carroll, S Johnston, P Gumley (1f), K Fannin, T Corr, B Reilly 0-1 each.
DERRY -- D O Doibhilin; C Mullan, K McCloy, D McBride; M Drumm, B McGoldrick, Gearoid O Cathain; PJ McCloskey, J Conway; D Mullan, C McGoldrick, M Lynch; N McNicholl, P Bradley, C Gilligan. Subs: B McGuigan for N McNicholl (h-t), N Holly for J Conway (46), R Shivers for C McGoldrick (53), D Brennan for M Drumm (61).
CAVAN -- J Reilly; P Carroll, E Smith, D O'Reilly; D O'Dowd, A Clarke, S Jordan; C Galligan, P O'Reilly; K Fannin, A Reilly, R Flanagan; P Gumley, S Johnston, M Brennan. Subs: D Ward for J Reilly (9, inj), T Corr for C Galligan (27), G Pierson for S Johnston ( h-t), J McEnroe for A Reilly (53), B Reilly for D O'Reilly (62).
REF -- S McLaughlin (Donegal).