Derry's Eoin Bradley battles with Mayo's Gerard Caffery
A second-half goal from James Kielt proved vital as new Derry boss Damien Cassidy enjoyed a winning start in Division One of the National League.
Derry, the league champions, trailed by six points to five after playing against the breeze in the first half.
The influencial Paddy Bradley came on in the second period and helped set up underage star Kielt's crucial score.
Mayo levelled on 0-9 to 1-6 but Derry clinched victory with points from Paul Carton, Kielt and Paul Young.
Boss Cassidy was delighted with the contribution of the young players he had introduced to the senior set-up during the McKenna Cup.
"They certainly had a big bearing on this performance," said the Oak Leafers manager.
"It is great they have stepped up to show they have the quality to play at this level.
"It sends out a message to the other players that they have the hunger and it will increase competition for places."
Cassidy admitted they would have to look at a possible lack of discipline as four players had to be replaced under the new yellow cards rule during the game.