Caley Thistle exited the Scottish Cup with a 5-2 quarter-final defeat to Hibernian at Easter Road.
In a thrilling last-eight tie, Caley Jags goalkeeper Mark Ridgers thwarted Paul Hanlon’s 30th minute penalty but could not deny the hosts gaining a first-half lead through Adam Jackson.
Further goals from Scott Allan and Greg Docherty followed, and although Carl Tremarco pulled one back, Caley Jags’ hopes of a sensational comeback were all but ended by Brad Mckay’s sending off shortly afterwards.
Hibs rallied to net further goals from substitutes Stephane Omeonga and Jamie Gullan, with Nikolay Todorov pulling back a late second for John Robertson’s men.
Inverness made four changes from the side which triumphed 2-1 against Dunfermline in midweek, with James Keatings, Tom Walsh, Kevin McHattie and Charlie Trafford drafted in to replace Miles Storey, Roddy MacGregor, James Vincent and Lewis Toshney.
Inverness made a decent start, with Jordan White seeing his header from a Tom Walsh delivery gathered by goalkeeper Ofir Marciano after just 45 seconds.
The visitors survived an early scare on eight minutes though, with Martin Boyle going to ground as he went to round Mark Ridgers after being played through by a superb pass from Marc McNulty, however the attacker was cautioned for diving by referee Nick Walsh.
Walsh saw a low effort flash wide after being released by Keatings, however Hibs began to increase their pressure, with Hanlon seeing a header diverted over by Tremarco on the goalline.
Hibs were handed a great chance to take the lead on the half hour mark when McHattie was penalised for tugging Marc McNulty’s jersey inside the box, however Hanlon’s spot-kick was brilliantly saved by Ridgers, who did even better to tip over the defender’s rebound.
Inverness were inches away from the opener on 35 minutes when Walsh was once again played through by Keatings, only to see his drilled low effort tipped on to the post by Marciano.
It proved a crucial intervention from the Hibs goalkeeper, with Hibs taking the lead less than two minutes later. Paul McGinn’s deep free-kick was flicked on by Christian Doidge, releasing Jackson to steer past Ridgers from close-range.
Inverness appealed for a penalty on 58 minutes when Tremarco claimed to have been fouled by Lewis Stevenson at a free-kick, however Hibs wasted no time in breaking clear to net their second. Boyle released McNulty through on goal, with the forward unselfishly squaring for the onrushing Allan to hammer high into the net.
Greg Docherty looked to have killed off Caley Jags’ challenge with a drilled low finish to make it three on 70 minutes, although Tremarco briefly restored hope 60 seconds later when his effort deflected off Hanlon to take it past Marciano.
Inverness were reduced to 10 men on 74 minutes however, with Mckay dismissed for going in high on Doidge.
Hibs took full advantage, adding further goals through Omeonga’s crisp strike and Gullan’s fine finish, with Todorov pulling back a second for the Highlanders two minutes from time.