ROSS County were the deserved derby winners as they clinched a 3-1 Irn Bru Division One win at Caley Thistle on Saturday.
Goals from Paul Di Giacomo, Iain Vigurs and Richard Brittain eased County to three points, with ICT's Jonny Hayes getting the home counter.
The visitors grabbed the lead on 10 minutes when Paul Di Giacomo pounced to net at the back post after Paul Lawson's corner was knocked on by Steven Watt.
It was the dream start boss Derek Adams wanted and cranked up the heat in this Highland derby.
The Staggies almost doubled their lead 10 minutes later, but Lionel Djebi-Zadi came to the rescue to block a net-bound Brittain drive after Michael Gardyne set him up.
County were continuing to boss the game and Ryan Esson did well to punch clear a long-range Lawson shot.
ICT came close to levelling just before the break, but no-one managed to drive home a ball played into the box from Hayes.
Terry Butcher must have said some choice words at the interval as his side came out flying in the opening moments, but Richie Foran should have shot when he was played clear by Robert Eagle.
It was County, however, who netted next, on 53 minutes, when Vigurs, with his back to goal, accepted a Brittain cross and backheeled the ball goalwards. It took a deflection off Nauris Bulvitis and beat Esson to spark wild celebrations in the away end.
Caley Thistle upped the ante and pulled it back to 2-1 when Hayes poked the ball in at the back post when Foran's delivery into the area wasn't dealt with.
On 67 minutes, ICT's pressure almost led to an equaliser, but Brittain headed an Adam Rooney effort off the goal-line.
County marched further ahead when Brittain steered home a cross from sub Martin Scott on 76 minutes to put the gloss on their scoreline.
This was an impressive show from County, who are only kept off top spot by Raith Rovers.
Inverness CT: Esson, Proctor (Rooney 65), Bulvitis, Munro, Djebi-Zadi (Ross 85), Cox, Eagle, Stratford, Foran, Sanchez (Duncan 80), Hayes. Subs not used: Allison (GK), McBain.
Ross County: McGovern, Miller, Morrison (Boyd 59), Kettlewell, Keddie, Watt, Gardyne, Lawson, Di Giacomo (Wood 89), Brittain, Vigurs (Scott 72). Subs not used: Malin (GK), Craig.
Referee: Stephen Finnie.