Monaghan ran out deserving winners over their fiercest local rivals in this typically hard-fought local derby.
The sides were deadlocked at 1-3 to 0-6 after a dour first half which produced 13 wides, eight of them for the visitors, and countless mistakes.
Cavan got off to a dream start when Killian Clarke played Cian Mackey in and the Castlerahan veteran booted to the roof of the net.
But Mickey Graham's men failed to build on that foundation, however, and would land just one more point in the next 28 minutes as they played second fiddle for long periods.
Two Conor McManus frees and one for Niall McKiernan made it 1-1 to 0-2 after nine minutes before further frees from McManus and Rory Beggan levelled matters in the 21st minute.
In contrast, Cavan missed a number of scoreable frees, using five different freetakers over the 70 minutes, and that as much as anything was their undoing here.
An excellent point from Dara McVeety nudged Cavan in front just before half-time but after a Cavan attack broke down, a swift counter-attack was finished by Darren Hughes.
Back came Cavan with a quality effort from Conor Madden but a Conor McCarthy free left the sides level at the interval and Monaghan were the better side in the second half.
McCarthy waltzed through for the lead score and although Mackey replied, a sweet strike from Jack McCarron - who was later dismissed on a second yellow card - and another McManus free made it 0-9 to 1-4 and Monaghan then turned the screw.
At this stage, the Farney were on top and Cavan were struggling to get their hands on the ball. A magnificent strike from McManus from the right wing was followed by a 45-metre Beggan free to make it 0-11 to 1-4 entering the home stretch.
Cavan had introduced Gearoid McKiernan as a second half sub for his first action of the year and the former Breffni captain made an instant impression, making a huge catch and swinging in a trademark score from the right.
But Monaghan were hunting in packs and closing down Cavan whenever the away side probed. In an ill-tempered finale, McCarron and Ray Galligan traded frees before that man McManus pointed from all of 45 metres and then McCarron, again, stepped up with a super score.
That made it a five-point game for the first time and while McKiernan added two late frees, the three-point margin, in truth, did not flatter the hosts, who will now fancy their chances of retaining their Division 1 status.
Monaghan: R Beggan (0-2f), C Walshe, Drew Wylie, Ryan Wylie, K O’Connell, V Corey, C Boyle, D Hughes (0-1), G Doogan, S Carey, D Malone, F Kelly, C McCarthy (0-2, 1f), M Bannigan, C McManus (0-6, 4f)
Subs: R McAnespie for Doogan (ht), J McCarron (0-3, 1f) for Bannigan (43), K Duffy for Corey (48), O Duffy for Carey (55), B Kerr for O'Connell (70)
Cavan: R Galligan (0-1f), J McLoughlin, P Faulkner, C Moynagh, G Smith, Ciaran Brady, C Rehill, D McVeety (0-1), K Clarke, N McKiernan (0-1f), P Smith, N Murray, M Reilly, C Mackey (1-1), C Madden (0-1)
Subs: S Smith for P Smith (ht), G McKiernan (0-3, 2f) for Mackey (50), J Smith for McKiernan (50), J Brady for Murray (63)
Ref: B Cawley (Kildare)