Galway clinched their 43rd Bank of Ireland Connacht SFC title as they dethroned champions Mayo with a narrow 0-10 to 0-08 victory in front of 29, 711 at Salthill's Pearse Stadium.
A poor but committed encounter was punctuated by a series of bad misses from both sides, but in the end The Tribesmen dominant first half performance saw them home.
Leading by 0-05 to 0-03 at the break, Michael Donnellan hit four points for the winners, with Conor Mortimer registering a similar tally for Mayo as Galway manager Peter Forde tasted a sweet victory over his native county.
Played in sweltering sunshine at the superbly appointed Galway venue, Mayo started brightest and quickly raced into a two-point lead. Conor Mortimer provided both scores, the first a clinically struck free from the right and the second a splendid booming effort from play that took an eternity to come down.
Mayo dominated the opening exchanges but failed to make their dominance count as the squandered several scoreable chances. Donnellan converted an 11th minute free to open Galway's account and Joyce equalised with another free three minutes later.
Galway began to assert themselves at half back and half forward but failed to capitalise on their resurgence with a series of careless misses. In fact neither side managed a score for the next 12 minutes, with Donnellan notching Galway's first point from play after switching to full forward with Padraig Joyce coming out to centre forward.
Kieran Comer stretched Galway's lead to two points in the 28th minute, picking the ball up around midfield before driving forward and pointing from distance. Michael Meehan then squandered another free, just driving the ball short into David Clarke's arms, but fellow forward Derek Savage took advantage of a poor ball out of defence to point with his weaker right foot to put three points between the sides.
Conor Mortimer pulled a point back for Mayo with his second free of the match, while captains Ciaran McDonald and Joyce wasted pointable chances for either side before the half-time whistle.
Donnellan pointed a free early in the second half to make it 0-06 to 0-03, but McDonald reduced the deficit again with a stylishly taken free. Mayo again showed much of the urgency that saw them dominate the opening ten minutes and Conor Mortimer brought them to within a point when he pivoted outside the square to point from close range after 44 minutes.
Galway Under-21 star Francis Hanly then required treatment following an off-the-ball incident before Alan Dillon levelled the match with pointed a free for Mayo. Meehan edged Galway in front again on 50 minutes with a well taken free but corner back Gary Ruane restored parity when he broke forward and showed the forwards how to do it with a superb point with the boot.
Mayo's James Gill was guilty of a glaring miss after his fellow forwards seemed reluctant to take responsibility in front of the posts after an excellent build-up. However, Billy Joe Padden assumed free-taking responsibilities and put Mayo in front for the first time since the 14th minute, but again Joyce showed his quality with a point off the uprights after evading the close attentions of David Heaney.
Donnellan then added a pointed free to put Galway back in front in the 66th minute, but again Mayo's profligacy in front of the posts resurfaced when Heaney broke forward from defence only to pull his shot wide.
A tense conclusion saw both sides squander chances, but Meehan stuck for one of the points of the day in injury time to ensure Galway held on to lift the Nestor Cup for the 43rd time.
Galway: B Donoghue, A Burke, F Hanly, K Fitzgerald, D Meehan, P Clancy, D Burke, B Cullinane, N Coleman, D Savage (0-01), M Donnellan (0-04), M Clancy, K Comer (0-01), P Joyce (0-02), M Meehan (0-02).
Substitutes: S Armstrong for Comer (60), T Giblin for Burke (60), S de Paor for Clancy (68).
Mayo: D Clarke, D Geraghty, D Heaney, G Ruane (0-01), C Moran, J Nallen, P Gardiner, R McGarrity, S Fitzmaurice, A Moran, C McDonald (0-01), A Dillon (0-01), C Mortimer (0-04), BJ Padden (0-01), T Mortimer.
Substitutes: B Maloney for Dillon (53).
Referee: John Gainey.