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Page last updated at 20:31 GMT, Saturday, 1 May 2010 21:31 UK

Inverness CT 1-0 Dundee

By Charles Bannerman
BBC Scotland at the Caledonian Stadium

SFL

Terry Butcher was reunited with an old friend when he held aloft the Scottish Football League trophy he won as captain of Rangers 20 years ago.

A 1-0 home win over Dundee extended their final margin of victory in the First Division title race to 12 points.

Adam Rooney grabbed his 27th of the season, rounding off a four-man move to give Inverness their ninth consecutive victory and 21st in a row unbeaten.

Inverness missed many chances but their fans celebrated the narrow win.

At one point in the season the Highlanders were 15 points adrift of their opponents, who sportingly applauded them on to the field at the start of the game.

Dundee claimed the first chance on six minutes when Ritchie Hart had a stunning 35-yard free-kick come off the right post with just a little help from keeper Ryan Esson.

In Dundee's next attack Craig Forsyth appeared to be up-ended in the box but referee Steve Conroy waved play on.

At the other end, one of Jonny Hayes' many penetrating runs down the left wing supplied Rooney but the striker hit his shot badly, missing out on an easy finish.

Dundee then came close when Forsyth on the left set up Sean Higgins whose effort cannoned off Esson.

Just before the half hour Rooney broke the deadlock when yet another Hayes run fed Russell Duncan then Nick Ross, who supplied the striker to hit home his 27th of the season from 12 yards.

As half-time approached, Eric Odhiambo squandered two gilt-edged chances for Inverness, both set up by Rooney, but in each case the ball went wide.

The second half failed to match the entertainment value of the opening period but it was Rooney who was first into action when he sent a chip wide of the mark.

Then Caley Thistle missed their fourth great chance of the game when Hayes evaded two defenders to cross to Nick Ross but the teenager's effort from just a yard went over the bar.

Late on Darren Young had a well hit effort go wide for Dundee while Russell Duncan saw Caley Thistle's final chance of the game and a memorable season saved by Derek Soutar.

When Mr Conroy finally blew for time the Caledonian Stadium erupted with an explosion of delight as Inverness fans in their hundreds poured onto the pitch to salute their heroes.

And there were more celebrations as captain Grant Munro held the trophy aloft and Butcher hailed what he described as the finest moment of his career.


Inverness CT manager Terry Butcher: "I'm proud of the city, I'm proud of the supporters, I'm proud of the club - but I'm very proud of the players. They have been tremendous and even today we wanted to beat Dundee.

"That's nine consecutive victories we've had and we've beaten every team in a row and 21 unbeaten.

"I think people will look back on this season in the First Division and say, 'wow - that was some performance.'

"I won this little baby here 20 years ago when I was a player at Rangers and it's the same trophy so it's come full circle.

"It's the proudest moment of my career, let alone as a player. I played for England, I played in World Cups and all this sort of thing, but when you're responsible for a club, coming back from where we were last year, it's just incredible."

Dundee manager Gordon Chisholm: "We hit the post, the keeper pulled off a great save, I don't think he knew much about it and I thought we were denied a penalty.

"I thought we did well and I thought we started quite brightly but, with the atmosphere, Caley started coming back into the game and they got the goal.

"It's not been easy coming up today. Caley, credit to them, they deserve it, they're 21 games unbeaten and that's championship form and we didn't show that form.

"We had too many off days, too many stutters, draws, getting beaten away from home."


Inverness CT: Esson, Bulvitis, Tokely, Munro, Golabek, Cox, Duncan, Ross (Eagle 73), Hayes (Morrison 85), Rooney, Odhiambo (Sanchez 62).
Subs Not Used: Allison, McBain.

Booked: Bulvitis.

Goals: Rooney 28.

Dundee: Soutar, Hart, Forsyth, Benedictis, McKeown, O'Leary, Shinnie (Hutchinson 67), Kerr (Young 74), Harkins, McMenamin, Higgins (Clarke 67).
Subs Not Used: Geddes, McHale.

Attendance: 6,031

Referee: S Conroy



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