Cork are back in the Electric Ireland All-Ireland minor football final after a nine-year absence and could face an old foe in the 1 September decider.
Kerry, chasing a six-in-a-row of All-Ireland wins at the grade, are in action in the second semi-final tomorrow so a repeat of the Munster final could be on the cards.
That would make for a gripping finale between two rival counties as Cork chase a first All-Ireland minor win since 2000.
They lost that Munster final to Kerry by a goal but regrouped with a win over Monaghan and led virtually from pillar to post against the Connacht champions at Croke Park.
Captain Conor Corbett helped himself to 2-03 for Cork while Patrick Campbell's early goal set them on the way and Daniel Linehan also netted.
Mayo were competitive for three quarters of the the contest and trailed by just two points at that stage but were outscored by 3-03 to 1-03 from there on.
The eight-point win means that Cork also remain in line for a potential minor/U-20 All-Ireland double following a productive year for the senior team also who reached the Super 8s.
The westerners arrived at Croke Park with strong momentum and real belief after taking out Dublin in the quarter-finals with a five-goal blast.
They secured a thrilling two-point win on that occasion and matched the five goals they struck against Sligo while they also hit Roscommon for four goals in Connacht.
Cork also displayed their ability to hit the net in their quarter-final win over Monaghan, doing so three times, and should have scored more than just one in the first-half here.
Campbell got it in the seventh minute, adding to an earlier point he'd clipped and propelling Cork to a 1-01 to 0-01 lead.
Mayo struggled on their kick-outs initially and the Campbell goal came from Jack Cahalane intercepting a short kick-out and feeding the Nemo Rangers forward.
Cahalane had a goal chance himself in the ninth minute that Mayo defender Oisin Tunney blocked and Hugh Murphy blasted over in the 14th minute when a goal was on.
Murphy kicked two first-half points and another from captain Conor Corbett in the 24th minute left Cork with a 1-07 to 0-04 lead.
Mayo finished the half stronger though and three points in a row, two from the excellent Paddy Heneghan, left them just three back at the break, 1-07 to 0-07.
They got the margin back to two points on several stages in the third quarter but were unable to prevent Cork pulling away with three more goals.
Linehan surged forward for the second in the 46th minute and Corbett added two more in the run in, in the 50th and 65th minutes, as the Munster finalists flexed their muscle in impressive fashion.
Cork: Cian O'Leary; Joseph O'Shea, Daniel Peet, Neil Lordan; Kelan Scannell, Daniel Linehan (1-00), Darragh Cashman; Jack Lawton, Eoghan Nash; Hugh Murphy (0-02), Patrick Campbell (1-02), Adam Walsh Murphy; Michael O'Neill (0-02, 0-01f), Conor Corbett (2-03), Jack Cahalane (0-01).
Subs: Sean Andrews for O'Shea (41), Ryan O'Donovan (0-02) for O'Neill (41), Keith O'Driscoll for Campbell (50), Luke Murphy for Walsh Murphy (55), Shane Aherne for Hugh Murphy (58), Alan O'Hare for Cahalane (61).
Mayo: Luke Jennings; Oisin Tunney, Owen McHale (0-01), Alfie Morrison; Shaun Dempsey (0-01), Ruairi Keane, Eoin Gilraine; Ethan Henry (0-03, 0-03f), Mark Tighe; Aidan Cosgrove, Paddy Heneghan (0-04), Dylan Thornton; Ciaran Mylett (0-01, 0-01f), Frank Irwin (0-02), Paul Walsh.
Subs: Rory Morrin for Mylett (36), John Grady (0-01, 0-01f) for Dempsey (45), Ray Walsh for Cosgrove (51), Ronan Hughes for Tunney (57), Ciaran Boland for Gilraine (61), Niall Feeney (1-00) for Walsh (61).
Referee: Niall Cullen (Fermanagh).