Miles Storey sets Inverness on the way to derby triumph
Inverness earned bragging rights in the Highlands with a comfortable 2-0 win over rivals Ross County.
Miles Storey added to his impressive pedigree with the opening goal and Greg Tansey netted his third free-kick in four days to keep the home side in the top half of the Ladbrokes Premiership table.
The gap between the two sides is now just two points, with John Hughes' side having a game in hand over the Staggies.
This was the 50th Highland derby between the sides, with Inverness leading their neighbours with 24 victories to 12 beforehand. However, Jim McIntyre is unbeaten in Inverness and the home side had not won a derby since May 2013.
Caley Thistle were unchanged from the team that won at Hamilton on Wednesday, with Ross County losing leading scorer Liam Boyce to a broken hand. Dutchman Alex Schalk was handed his first start. Rocco Quinn also came in for Jonathan Franks.
Aside from early chances skied by Quinn and David Raven, much of the game was being battled out in the middle of the park. With the news that Boyce would be ruled out for four weeks confirmed by County manager McIntyre before the game, the sight of Craig Curran needing to come off after 15 minutes would have been most unwelcome.
Curran took a knock to the head early on and tried to continue but with a two-month absence due to concussion already behind him this season, McIntyre could take no chances.
The half would get worse for the visitors when a Tansey corner was half-cleared to James Vincent, whose snap-shot was flicked in by Storey for his eighth goal of the season.
The on-loan Swindon man had the better of Scott Boyd on most occasions, while at the other end Michael Gardyne was meting out similar trouble to Nat Wedderburn. But for all his persistence there was little in the way of chances for County, with Andrew Davies heading a Quinn corner straight at Owain Fon Williams.
With the half-time whistle approaching Tansey notched his fourth goal in three games, swinging in a free-kick from the left flank that beat everyone and crept in at the far post.
The second half started in a similarly frantic nature and County had a penalty appeal rightly waved away by referee John Beaton as Ross Draper nipped in perfectly to dispossess Schalk. It started an Inverness attack that deserved a goal with Carl Tremarco nodding Iain Vigurs' pass into the path of Storey, who rattled the crossbar from 25 yards.
County had half-chances through substitutes Franks and Brian Graham, while at the other end Liam Polworth, looking for his fifth in four games, blasted over. Polworth then played a key role in Inverness' next opportunity, feeding Vincent who in turn laid on Vigurs to sky when well-placed.
Danny Devine had an effort cleared off the line by Woods in the closing stages on a day where Inverness thoroughly merited the three points.