A goal in each half made the difference for Cootehill as they saw off Lacken in a drab senior championship encounter tonight at Kingspan Breffni Park.
Dermie Connolly and Dean Connolly struck the decisive majors for Ciaran O'Malley's side whom built-up and took back a six-point lead against a Lacken outfit which hadn't registered a single score until Niall McKiernan's fortuitous goal in the early stages of the second-half.
In what was a repeat of the 2012 intermediate decider, the winners on that occasion had an off-colour night here, with a spread of just three scorers over the entire 60 minutes as Cootehill were able to capitalise and get their Oliver Plunkett Cup bid off to a winning start.
John McCutcheon opened the victors' account after six minutes and a fine score by Damien Sherlock from the resultant kick-out had the town side's tails very much up early on.
As the showers rained down heavy in Cavan town, the scoreboard stayed dry for some 20 minutes as Cootehill suffered a major blow with the dismissal of talisman Enda Hessin on a black card in the meantime.
The Hoops' speedy centre-forward was replaced by former county minor Colm Smith, who had a hand in their goal three minutes from the interval which was well-poached by Dermie Connolly after Lacken 'keeper Colin Comerford let the ball spill into his path.
Comerford picked up an injury in the process, leading to his half-time withdrawal, as McCutcheon fired over Cootehill's third making it 1-3 to 0-0 and leaving their opponents with it all to do in the second-half.
Finbar O'Reilly's men needed a good restart and they got it through their big centre-forward McKiernan posting their opening score under fortuitous circumstances.
The ex-Cavan minor star tore through centre-field in the 32nd minute and unleashed his effort of a point which dropped in under Ryan Carroll's crossbar for all three instead.
Connolly and Finnegan exchanged points to keep the difference at three, but there was another hammer blow left in Cootehill which saw Dean Connolly race away from the pack and send a cool finish past Lacken sub 'keeper Jimmy Smith.
That strike left the Sky Blues right back where they started at the beginning of the second-half and they were worse off once Smith's free sailed between their posts right on the final quarter mark.
Stephen Brady and McKiernan pulled back singles in the ensuing five minutes before Ray Galligan had a penalty shout turned down which, had it been awarded and converted, could have left things more interesting in the final minutes.
Instead Lacken were reduced to 14 with the dismissal of midfielder Thomas Galligan prior to Cootehill sub Caoimhin Carney cancelling out Finnegan in injury-time, securing what could turn out to be a valuable opening round win for O'Malley's men.
Cootehill: Ryan Carroll; Sean O'Connor, Barry McGahon, Gerard Argue; John Carney, Joshua Hayes, Dean Connolly (1-0); Eoin Roche, John McCutcheon (0-2); Damien Sherlock (0-1), Enda Hessin, Stevie O'Connor; Neil McCluskey, Tom Hayes, Dermie Connolly (1-1). Subs: Colm Smith (0-1, 1f) for E Hessin (b/c), Caoimhin Carney (0-1) for S O'Connor (38), Glen Nulty for D Connolly (56), Mark Mullen for D Sherlock (59).
Lacken: Colin Comerford; Kevin Shanaghy, Daithi Wilson, Declan Brady; Craig Lanuze, Damien McKiernan, Killian Galligan; Thomas Galligan, Raymond Galligan; Shane Moynagh, Niall McKiernan (1-1), Philip Moynagh; Stephen Brady (0-1), Conor Finnegan (0-2), Paul Leddy. Subs: Jimmy Smith for C Comerford (HT, inj), James Moynagh for K Galligan (47), Shane Finnegan for P Leddy (53), Michael Shanaghy for S Brady (59).
Ref: Tony Gregory (Bailieborough Shamrocks)Tweet