An experimental Mayo outfit suffered a 2-16 to 1-21 defeat to NUIG in their Connacht SFL opener at Elvery's MacHale Park.
With most of their squad on holidays in South Africa, 10 players were handed their Mayo debuts. With Enda Tierney, Adam Gallagher and Damien Comer in fine scoring form, the students led for much of the first half, but goals in the final 10 minutes from Neil Douglas (penalty) and Danny Kirby ensured last year's All-Ireland runners-up of parity, 2-7 to 0-13, at half-time.
The hosts moved three points clear after the restart, only for NUIG to take control after Galway star Damien Comer netted in the 45th minute.
Mayo lost Ray O'Malley to a second yellow card midway through the half and further scores from Gallagher and Comer pushed the students six points clear before a late rally by the home side reduced the deficit to two.
James Durkan could have snatched victory for Mayo in stoppage-time, but he shot straight at Tadhg O'Malley as Maurice Sheridan's men took the spoils.
NUIG - T O'Malley; S Brennan, J Kennedy, A O'Connor; K Molloy (0-1), M McClean, E Boland; M Barrett, E Tierney (0-3); S Conroy, M Daly (0-4), A Gallagher (0-9, 6f); R Greene, D Comer (1-3), O Gallagher (0-1). Subs: K Quinn for M McClean, D McCormack for M Barrett, A McCormack for E Boland.
Mayo - R Byrne; N McMenamon, R O'Malley, D Newcombe; B McDermott, E O' Reilly, M Plunkett; S Nally (0-2), D Kirby (1-0); F McDonagh (0-1), C Costello, F Boland (0-4); L Irwin (0-3f), N Douglas (1-2, 1-0pen, 0-1f), B Reape (0-3). Subs: F Duffy (0-1) for B Reape, J Forkan for C Costello, J McCormack for F McDonagh, J Durkan for L Irwin, D Cannon for S Nally.
Referee - B Judge.