Inverness took the bragging rights from the first-ever top-flight Highland derby as Ross County slumped to a third successive defeat.
The hosts took the lead when Ross Draper connected with Graeme Shinnie's corner after strong early pressure.
And Terry Butcher's side doubled their lead when Andrew Shinnie finished after being set up by Richie Foran.
Iain Vigurs' free-kick gave County the chance of a comeback, but Aaron Doran's late strike secured the points.
The Caley Jags almost took the lead after only 25 seconds when Doran curled in a cross from the right which, inexplicably, Ross Tokely headed towards his own goal.
Luckily for the former Inverness defender the ball cannoned back off the bar to spare his blushes.
Less than a minute later Inverness could have been ahead again as Owain Tudor-Jones picked up on a one-two at the edge of the box.
However, his deft right-footed flick was cleared from under the crossbar by Grant Munro as County looked nervous at the back.
The home side took a deserved lead when Draper forced Graeme Shinnie's corner over the line with what looked like his shoulder after eight minutes.
At this point the ball had barely been in the Inverness half.
However, out of nowhere, a curling long-range effort from new County signing Mark Fotheringham beat Antonio Reguero in the home goal, but came back off the bar.
County were settling into the game as the first half wore on, and captain Richard Brittain went close with a 30-yard free-kick which flew narrowly over.
But, just as it seemed the visitors were coming back into the game, they found themselves two down.
Foran broke free of the County rearguard on the right and fed a delightful low pass across goal for Andrew Shinnie to sidefoot home.
As the visitors pressed for a way back into the game as half time neared they left gaps at the back, and Michael Fraser had to save smartly with his legs when Doran was played through one-on-one with the keeper.
The Dingwall side had clearly had half-time words from manager Derek Adams, and carved out the first chance of the second half when a free-kick was awarded at the edge of the box.
And Vigurs curled the ball up and over the wall and into the top corner of the net to give his side a lifeline.
The game raged from end to end in a real derby style, with set-piece opportunities arising from the all-too-frequent blasts of Iain Brines' whistle.
Crosses peppered both goal areas, but defenders had the measure of forwards and chances dried up, although County were having the lion's share of the ball.
County were desperately chasing a leveller, and Rocco Quinn passed up a chance when he shot straight at the keeper from the angle of the six-yard box.
But, for the second match in a row, County conceded late on as Conor Pepper headed a long ball into the path of Doran, who lashed a low volley past Fraser at the near post.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle
- 12 Reguero
- 02 Raven Booked
- 03 Shinnie
- 05 Warren
- 14 Meekings
- 04 Tudur-Jones
- 08 Draper Booked
- 10 Shinnie (Morrison - 76' )
- 09 Foran (Pepper - 60' Booked )
- 17 Doran Booked
- 23 Roberts (McKay - 85' )
- 31 Mathieson
- 32 Cooper
- 19 Morrison
- 21 Polworth
- 22 Pepper
- 07 McKay
- 16 Oswell
- 01 Fraser
- 03 Fitzpatrick
- 04 Munro
- 05 Boyd
- 06 Tokely
- 10 Brittain Booked
- 11 Vigurs
- 12 Quinn
- 14 Scott Booked (Kettlewell - 77' )
- 29 Fotheringham Booked (Glen - 77' )
- 09 McMenamin
- 25 Brown
- 22 Kovacevic
- 23 Macphee
- 07 Kettlewell
- 24 Ross
- 20 Glen
- 26 Dingwall
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee brings the game to a close.90:00 +4:03
Iain Vigurs concedes a free kick for a foul on Conor Pepper. Josh Meekings takes the free kick.90:00 +1:59
Ross Tokely challenges Aaron Doran unfairly and gives away a free kick. Owain Tudur Jones takes the free kick.90:00 +1:10
Stuart Kettlewell takes a shot. Antonio Reguero makes a save.89:55 Booking
Booking Booking for Aaron Doran for unsporting behaviour.88:39
Free kick taken by Richard Brittain.88:39 Booking
Booking Conor Pepper is given a yellow card.88:30 Booking
Booking Caution for Richard Brittain.88:22
Free kick awarded for a foul by Conor Pepper on Iain Vigurs.86:57
Assist on the goal came from Billy McKay.86:57 Goal scored
Goal! - Aaron Doran - Inverness 3 - 1 Ross Co Aaron Doran grabs a goal from the edge of the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Inverness CT 3-1 Ross County.86:37
Colin McMenamin concedes a free kick for a foul on Graeme Shinnie. Graeme Shinnie takes the free kick.85:38
Ross Draper takes a shot. Save by Michael Fraser.85:07
Gary Glen takes a shot. Save made by Antonio Reguero.84:33 Substitution
Substitution Billy McKay is brought on as a substitute for Philip Roberts.84:12
Corner taken by Iain Vigurs from the right by-line.83:49
Gary Glen takes a shot. Antonio Reguero makes a save.82:00
Unfair challenge on Ross Draper by Richard Brittain results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Josh Meekings.77:40
Richard Brittain challenges Gavin Morrison unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Antonio Reguero.76:24 Substitution
Substitution Gary Glen replaces Mark Fotheringham.
Substitution Martin Scott goes off and Stuart Kettlewell comes on.74:06
Michael Fraser restarts play with the free kick.74:06 Substitution
Substitution Gavin Morrison joins the action as a substitute, replacing Andrew Shinnie.74:06
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Philip Roberts by Mark Fotheringham. Free kick crossed by Aaron Doran, free kick awarded for a foul by Ross Draper on Scott Boyd.72:53
Foul by Martin Scott on Graeme Shinnie, free kick awarded. Antonio Reguero restarts play with the free kick.71:27
Iain Vigurs takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, Josh Meekings makes a clearance.70:33
Iain Vigurs has an effort at goal from the edge of the box that misses to the right of the target.69:53
Effort from just outside the area by Martin Scott goes over the bar.64:38
Direct free kick taken by Josh Meekings.64:38 Booking
Booking Mark Fotheringham is cautioned.64:35
Mark Fotheringham challenges David Raven unfairly and gives away a free kick.63:54 Booking
Booking Booking for David Raven.59:35
Corner taken left-footed by Graeme Shinnie from the right by-line, Foul by Gary Warren on Grant Munro, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Michael Fraser.59:35 Substitution
Substitution (Inverness CT) makes a substitution, with Conor Pepper coming on for Richie Foran.56:03
Unfair challenge on Iain Vigurs by David Raven results in a free kick. Free kick crossed by Richard Brittain, save made by Antonio Reguero.55:16
Unfair challenge on Philip Roberts by Iain Vigurs results in a free kick. Josh Meekings restarts play with the free kick.52:38
Colin McMenamin fouled by Owain Tudur Jones, the ref awards a free kick. Richard Brittain takes the free kick.51:07
Martin Scott fouled by Philip Roberts, the ref awards a free kick. Iain Vigurs takes the free kick.50:18
Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Graeme Shinnie, Andrew Shinnie takes a shot. Save by Michael Fraser.49:49
Graeme Shinnie fouled by Iain Vigurs, the ref awards a free kick. Josh Meekings restarts play with the free kick.47:40
Assist by Martin Scott.47:40 Goal scored
Goal! - Iain Vigurs - Inverness 2 - 1 Ross Co Iain Vigurs hits the back of the net with a goal direct from the free kick from outside the box to the top right corner of the goal. Inverness CT 2-1 Ross County.46:32
Foul by Josh Meekings on Martin Scott, free kick awarded.45:36
The official flags Colin McMenamin offside. Antonio Reguero takes the free kick.45:11
Unfair challenge on Colin McMenamin by Gary Warren results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Richard Brittain.45:01
The second half begins.45:00 +0:20 Half time
Half Time The match has reached half-time.43:07
Ross Draper gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Richard Brittain. Direct free kick taken by Richard Brittain.40:25
Handball by Andrew Shinnie. Free kick crossed left-footed by Iain Vigurs, Ross Draper makes a clearance.39:41
Inswinging corner taken by Iain Vigurs from the right by-line, clearance made by Gary Warren.39:10
Josh Meekings concedes a free kick for a foul on Colin McMenamin. Free kick crossed right-footed by Richard Brittain, Antonio Reguero makes a save.37:24
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gary Warren by Colin McMenamin. Josh Meekings takes the free kick.36:37
Unfair challenge on Andrew Shinnie by Scott Boyd results in a free kick. Aaron Doran takes the direct free kick.36:11
Grant Munro takes a shot. Save by Antonio Reguero.35:49
Foul by Graeme Shinnie on Rocco Quinn, free kick awarded. Richard Brittain takes the direct free kick.35:01
Direct free kick taken by Michael Fraser.35:01 Booking
Booking Ross Draper booked.34:33
Ross Draper concedes a free kick for a foul on Iain Vigurs.31:29
Graeme Shinnie takes the direct free kick.31:29 Booking
Booking Martin Scott booked for unsporting behaviour.31:22
Graeme Shinnie fouled by Martin Scott, the ref awards a free kick.30:57
Andrew Shinnie challenges Richard Brittain unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ross Tokely takes the free kick.28:28
Josh Meekings gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Colin McMenamin. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Richard Brittain from left channel, clearance by Richie Foran.27:24
Richie Foran provided the assist for the goal.27:24 Goal scored
Goal! - Andrew Shinnie - Inverness 2 - 0 Ross Co Andrew Shinnie scores a goal from deep inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Inverness CT 2-0 Ross County.26:06
Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Iain Vigurs from the right by-line, Ross Tokely challenges Ross Draper unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Antonio Reguero.25:45
Mark Fotheringham takes a shot. Blocked by Josh Meekings.24:26
Ross Draper challenges Martin Scott unfairly and gives away a free kick. Richard Brittain produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick.21:39
Richard Brittain concedes a free kick for a foul on Ross Draper. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Aaron Doran from right channel.21:06
The assistant referee signals for offside against Martin Scott. Indirect free kick taken by Antonio Reguero.16:59
Unfair challenge on Ross Draper by Mark Fotheringham results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Josh Meekings.15:14
Corner taken by Iain Vigurs from the right by-line, save by Antonio Reguero.13:48
Graeme Shinnie gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Colin McMenamin. Free kick crossed left-footed by Iain Vigurs from right channel, Andrew Shinnie manages to make a clearance.13:26
Effort from outside the penalty area by Richard Brittain strikes the post.9:20
Marc Fitzpatrick challenges Aaron Doran unfairly and gives away a free kick. Aaron Doran restarts play with the free kick.8:20
Assist by Graeme Shinnie.8:20 Goal scored
Goal! - Ross Draper - Inverness 1 - 0 Ross Co Ross Draper scores a headed goal from inside the penalty area. Inverness CT 1-0 Ross County.7:54
Inswinging corner taken by Graeme Shinnie from the right by-line,7:32
Philip Roberts takes a shot. Blocked by Ross Tokely.6:46
Martin Scott concedes a free kick for a foul on Richie Foran. Free kick taken by Antonio Reguero.5:29
Shot by Andrew Shinnie from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.0:18
Ross Tokely takes a shot.0:00
The match has kicked off.
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