James Wilson’s winner was not enough to book Aberdeen a place in the Europa League despite their 2-1 win at Hibernian.
Wilson’s goal mid-way through the second half had looked to have put the Dons on course for their sixth straight season in the competition, with Rangers holding Kilmarnock at 1-1.
However, a late Eamonn Brophy penalty rendered Aberdeen’s result meaningless, with Derek McInnes’ side now awaiting the outcome of next weekend’s Scottish Cup final. Only a Celtic victory will see them compete in the Europa League qualifying rounds.
Marc McNulty had put Hibernian in front in the first half, before Sam Cosgrove levelled as half-time beckoned.
It also marked the final game in the Dons career of Graeme Shinnie, who heads for Derby County in the summer, while several other players may have also played their last minutes in a red shirt.
Joe Lewis missed out for Aberdeen with a knee injury, handing Tomas Cerny his first start for the Dons. Connor McLennan also returned to the team in place of Greg Stewart, while there was a place on the bench for Gary Mackay-Steven.
Cosgrove slashed horribly at an early opportunity in the box, sending it ballooning wide, as his counterpart McNulty was having slightly more success at the other end.
Darryl Horgan picked him out twice, with one near-post effort rolling wide and a second, in which McNulty had time to check back on to his right foot, went straight at Cerny.
It was McNulty who gave the home side the lead on 26 minutes, with the Dons failing to execute an offside trap and giving Fraser Murray the time to pick out the on-loan Reading striker. He held his nerve and beat Cerny from 10 yards.
Murray was next to take aim and troubled Cerny with a curling strike from 20 yards, that went past the far post. Max Lowe then had to react acrobatically to hook clear a ball destined for McNulty, with Aberdeen struggling to contain a vibrant Hibernian performance.
Cosgrove dragged them level two minutes before the interval after an otherwise quiet first half, clearing the ball out from under his feet and dispatching it back across Ofir Marciano following McLennan’s cross.
The goal did little to revive Aberdeen’s performance and they were fortunate to stay level 11 minutes into the second half, with Murray heading straight at Cerny from David Gray’s cross.
But again, when the run of play had been against them, the Dons struck. Cosgrove and substitute Stevie May combined well to play in an unmarked Wilson, who slotted home first-time for his first goal since December.
Chances were still coming at the other end, with Cerny gobbling up Gray’s shot at the second attempt when the Hibernian defender looked primed to score.
Mackay-Steven was given what may be a farewell appearance for the visiting side, replacing McLennan with 12 minutes to go and giving him a long-awaited return from injury.
Aberdeen looked to have done enough following Alfredo Morelos’ equaliser at Rugby Park, only for Eamonn Brophy’s late penalty to hand Kilmarnock third spot back for the final time.
Cosgrove missed from the spot in stoppage-time after Gray fouled Mackay-Steven, as Aberdeen’s league campaign drew to a close.