Donegal's poor record in Letterkenny continued as they threw away a seven-point lead before going down by the minimum to Galway. After last week's loss in Tralee, the Tribesmen narrowly avoided another last-gasp defeat
That is six years on the trot that Donegal have failed to take anything from an Allianz League tie at the venue. But they can hardly blame the pitch for this defeat. They had two late opportunities to at least draw but frees from Ciaran Thompson and Michael Murphy were just wide of the mark.
In a very close contest Galway refused to buckle, with their goals coming from corner-backs Johnny Heaney and Sean Kelly, while Shane Walsh was again excellent.
Donegal were playing against the wind in the first half but dominated most of the possession. It was not a day for goalkeepers as both struggled with kick-outs, with both sides pressing forward.
Donegal had a big claim for a penalty after two minutes when a Ryan McHugh effort for a point came back off the upright and Eoin McHugh was swung around inside the 'square'.
Galway had the opening point with Damien Comer winning a free for Shane Walsh to point.
Donegal were back on terms on 12 minutes when Ryan McHugh went long from a free. Michael Murphy won the ball and found Peadar Mogan on his shoulder. Mogan saw his effort tipped over by the Connor Gleeson.
Rob Finnerty edged Galway back in front after a short Walsh '45', but Donegal had a real threat up front.
Michael Murphy saw an effort taken off the line with the Glenswilly man convinced it had crossed before Murphy sent Jamie Brennan through and he was upended for a penalty. Goalkeeper Gleeson was black carded and was replaced by Ronan Ó Beoláin.
Murphy hit the penalty with power and it made it to the net under the body of the replacement keeper, who stayed on at the end of Gleeson's sin-binning, with sacrificed forward Finnian Ó Laoí returning to the fray after 10 minutes.
Galway should have had a goal of their own on 25 minutes when Shane Walsh found Damien Comer on the break but the burly forward fired too high and over the bar.
Jamie Brennan replied for Donegal with a very slick point. Rob Finnerty also showed how sharp he was on 34 minutes, but six minutes into added time Niall O'Donnell, just on the field, won a free for Michael Murphy to close out the first half scoring with Donegal leading 1-03 to 0-04.
Donegal started the second half in great style with a '45' from Michael Murphy and an advanced mark from Jamie Brennan after he was found by Ciaran Thompson.
A second goal arrived on 42 minutes when Ryan McHugh found Thompson and the Naomh Conaill man carried forward and fired home a great goal from 20 metres.
But immediately Galway hit back with Shane Walsh sending Johnny Heaney through and he fired past Shaun Patton.
Shane Walsh twisted and turned before firing over and the lead was back to three - 2-05 to 1-05. The margin was down to two when Paul Brennan was black carded for hauling down Damien Comer and Shane Walsh converted the free.
The fat was in the fire on 52 minutes when corner-back Sean Kelly was allowed room to waltz through the Donegal defence and fire to the net. Michael Murphy won an advanced mark to level again within seconds.
Michael Daly had Galway ahead again while Jamie Brennan was just off target seconds later. Shane Walsh doubled the lead from a free but Dáire Ó Baoill won a free for Ciaran Thompson to leave a point in it again with six minutes left.
Galway were reduced to 14 after Michael Daly picked up a second yellow for pulling down Caolan Ward.
Michael Murphy fisted a point but it was disallowed for a square ball. Donegal tried to work an equaliser ony for Thompson and Murphy to miss their frees.
Donegal: Shaun Patton; Caolan Ward, Neil McGee, Eoghan Bán Gallagher; Ryan McHugh, Conor O'Donnell, Odhrán McFadden Ferry; Caolan McGonagle, Michael Langan; Eoin McHugh, Peadar Mogan (0-01), Paul Brennan; Ciaran Thompson (1-01, 0-01f), Michael Murphy (1-03, 1-00 pen; 0-01 '45'; 0-01f, 0-01m), Jamie Brennan (0-02, 0-01m).
Subs: Niall O'Donnell for Mogan 37, Andrew McClean for McGonagle ht; Dáire Ó Baoill for E McHugh 55;
Galway: Connor Gleeson; Sean Kelly (1-00), Sean Mulkerrin, Johnny Heaney (1-00); Gary O'Donnell, John Daly, Cillian McDaid; Ronan Steede, Cein D'Arcy; Finnian O Laoi, Damien Comer (0-01), Michael Daly (0-01); Robert Finnerty (0-02), Shane Walsh (0-04, 0-02f), Michael Boyle.
Subs: Ronan O Beolain for Gleeson 17; Conor Campbell for McDaid 37; Adrian Varley for Steede ht; Paul Conroy for O Laoi 43;
Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan)