DUAL star Keith Higgins left a huge imprint at McHale Park, firing a 20-yard free into the net just before the interval to give unbeaten Mayo a commanding lead just when Donegal were beginning to ask a few questions.
Kenny Feeney had given Mayo a perfect start when his long-range free ended up in the back of the net, but the visitors looked the better side in the opening 20 minutes.
The free-taking of Niall Campbell, who hit a beauty from all of 80 yards, kept Donegal very much alive, but Mayo led 2-9 to 0-8 at the break.
Donegal, who had Joe Boyle dismissed on a second yellow 12 minutes into the second half, failed to impress after the interval as Mayo cruised home.
Man of the Match: K Higgins (Mayo)
SCORERS -- Mayo: K Higgins 1-5 (3f), K Feeney 1-4 (2f), S Broderick 0-5 (4f), R Cullinane, D McDonnell, S Hoban, N Murphy 0-1 each. Donegal: N Campbell 0-8 (6f), L Henderson 0-3 (2f), C Mathewson 0-1.
Mayo -- D O'Brien 8; S Connell 9, D McConn 8, G Henry 7; S Morley 8, P Connell 7, M Morley 7; B Higgins 6, K Higgins 9; N Murphy 7, D McDonnell 7, K Feeney 7; R McTighe 6, S Broderick 7, R Cullinane 7. Subs: P O'Grady 7 for Feeney (28), B Hunt 7 for B Higgins (37), S Hoban 7 for S Broderick (50) D Gallagher 6 for Cullinane (50), J Mulryan 6 for S Morley (65).
Donegal -- P O'Brien 6; J Boyle 7, C Breathnach 7, A McDermott 6; J Donnelly 7, P Sheridan, M McCann 6; S Boyle 7, P Hannigan 6; N Campbell 8, E McDermott 6, C Mathewson 7; M McGhee 6, S McVeigh 7, L Henderson 7. Subs: S O'Connor 7 for M McCann (37), P Horan 6 for McGee, M Lillis 6 for P Hannigan (66), P Byrne 5 for P O'Brien (66).
REF -- C Browne (Galway).