Inverness CT 2-0 Airdrie United
Caley Thistle celebrate their victory
Substitute Steve Hislop inspired Inverness Caley Thistle to their first silverware since
their formation a decade ago.
Hislop's introduction in the second half turned the match for the Highlanders and his pin-point cross for David Bingham with 11 minutes left finally broke the deadlock.
Hislop sealed the victory minutes later when he slotted the ball past goalkeeper Mark McGeown from 16 yards after a mazy run past a clearly deflated Airdrie defence.
Airdrie United will feel hard done by after giving as good as they got from opponents a division above them in a keenly-contested but scrappy encounter.
Caley Thistle applied most of the early pressure and Barry Wilson came closest when he hit the side-netting from 12 yards after some good wing play by Richard Hart.
A series of wicked corner kicks by Roy McBain caused panic in the United defence and
they were lucky to escape with their goal intact in the 18th minute when one such pass fooled McGeown, who raced off his line and missed the ball entirely, only for Scott Wilson to scramble back and head the ball clear from almost under the crossbar.
United, though, grew in confidence as the half progressed and should have gone in at the interval ahead with an acrobatic effort from Jerome Vareille.
The former Kilmarnock man ghosted into the penalty box to meet a Marvyn Wilson
cross with a scissors-kick from eight yards, but Mark Brown showed good reflexes to get a hand to the ball, knocking it onto the crossbar then scooping it up as it fell from the air.
Caley Thistle almost broke the deadlock shortly after the break when Wilson found himself through one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but he over-ran the ball and allowed the
McGeown to make the block and player-manager Sandy Stewart headed
Caley Thistle boss John Robertson celebrates with his goalscorers
Then, a moment of inspiration from Hislop saw the deadlock broken.
He broke free down the right flank and sent in a teasing cross, catching the United defence flat footed.
Bingham rose between two defenders and bulleted a header past McGeown from six yards.
Losing a goal after putting so much into the game shattered United and the destination of the trophy was confirmed in the final minute as Hislop ran 30 yards with the ball before knocking it past the keeper.
Inverness CT: Brown, McAffrey, Mann, Golabek, Tokely, Duncan,
Wilson, McBain, Hart (Keogh 86), Ritchie (Hislop 58),
Bingham (Thomson 90).
Subs Not Used: Munro, Fraser.
Airdrie Utd: McGeown, McManus, Stewart,
Scott Wilson (Ronald 73), William Wilson, Marvyn Wilson,
Docherty (Singbo 64), Dunn, Vareille (McKeown 83), Roberts, Gow.
Subs Not Used: Glancy, Hollis.
Ref: Willie Young