Donegal might have missed out on a place in the Division One final, but manager Rory Gallagher says he's happy with his lot from an encouraging League campaign.
late Mayo rally denied 14-man Donegal, who had Eamonn Doherty sent off in the 57th minute, and the new-look side slumped to a first defeat since an opening day reversal against Kerry.
Cillian O'Connor netted an early penalty for Mayo, after he'd been adjudged to have been fouled by Donegal goalkeeper Mark Anthony McGinley.
However, with the classy and dangerous Michael Murphy at the hub and Ciaran Thompson continuing his red hot form, Donegal led 0-11 to 1-5 at the break.
Mayo put on Aidan O'Shea for the last 25 minutes of the contest and the Breffy man had a big influence as Mayo swung the pendulum with O'Connor scoring four late frees to seal the win for Mayo.
"We have to be disappointed that we didn't push on in the second half of the game," Gallagher said.
"But there were a lot of positives.
"I thought the first half was exhilarating and in the second half, even though Mayo were the stronger team, our boys didn't shirk the challenge."
Mayo: C O'Connor 1-4 (1pen, 3f), L Keegan, A Moran 0-2 each, K Higgins, C Boyle, D Kirby, S Nally 0-1 each
Donegal: M Murphy 0-4 (3f, 1 '45), C Mulligan 0-3 C Thompson 0-2, M O'Reilly, J Brennan, E Gallagher, F McGlynn 0-1 each.