Match ends, Hibernian 0, Kilmarnock 1.
Kilmarnock assured themselves of top-flight football next season by beating Hibernian, consigning their opponents to a relegation play-off.
Kris Boyd got the crucial goal for the visitors in a match dominated for long spells by the home side.
The full-time whistle was greeted with understandable jubilation among the travelling fans.
But the Hibs support now have to endure a two-legged contest with a top Championship side to stay up.
It threatens to be a thoroughly miserable season for Edinburgh football, with Hearts already relegated to the second tier.
This was Hibs' 13th match without a victory, dating back to mid-February, and there can be little doubt their form over that period is that of relegation fodder.
They sat seventh and six points clear of then-11th placed Kilmarnock when Terry Butcher took over in November, and apart from a short spell in which the new manager seemed to have turned things around, they have arguably looked an even more dispirited and shambolic outfit than under Pat Fenlon.
Toothless up front, their dominance of this match, particularly in the early stages, was undermined by an incapability in front of goal, coupled with some doughty defending by Kilmarnock when necessary.
Nonetheless, with a touch of good fortune, Hibs could have been ahead on two or three occasions, with Jordon Forster's top-corner-bound drive flicked past the post by the head of Vitalijs Maksimenko.
From the corner, Scott Robertson, who had already forced Craig Samson into a decent save, glanced a header goalwards only for Barry Nicholson to head off the line.
Both sides had seemingly plausible penalty claims turned away by referee Craig Thomson - one for a shove on Michael Nelson, the other a trip on Boyd - before Killie got their noses in front.
Ross Barbour fired in a low cross and Boyd, who had an earlier strike chalked off for offside, swept a shot from just inside the box past the outstretched hand of Ben Williams and into the goalkeeper's bottom right-hand corner.
Kilmarnock had spells in the second half of good possession, but again their goal was the one under greater threat.
Hibernian captain Liam Craig came closest to the goal that would have given them a fighting chance, but his ferocious drive from 20 yards clattered off the underside of the bar and away to safety.
There were also a couple of almighty goalmouth scrambles, which Killie somehow survived without conceding, but in truth Hibernian's season-long problems in front of goal were their downfall once again.
Whichever of the Championship clubs makes it through to meet Hibs, they will be facing a side bereft of confidence.
- 10CraigBooked at 80mins
- 22WatmoreSubstituted forCummingsat 80'minutes
- 26StantonSubstituted forHarrisat 77'minutes
- 8RobertsonSubstituted forTudur-Jonesat 67'minutes
- 29PascaliBooked at 31mins
- 22MaksimenkoSubstituted forClinganat 34'minutes
- 7NicholsonSubstituted forSlaterat 67'minutes
- 18McKenzieSubstituted forMuirheadat 67'minutes
- 12Reguero Chapinal
- Craig Thomson
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Hibernian 0, Kilmarnock 1.
Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Ben Williams.
Attempt saved. Alexei Eremenko (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Liam Craig (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock).
Foul by Ryan McGivern (Hibernian).
Robbie Muirhead (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Owain Tudur-Jones (Hibernian).
Robbie Muirhead (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt saved. Alex Harris (Hibernian) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Attempt missed. Michael Nelson (Hibernian) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.
Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Manuel Pascali.
Attempt blocked. Owain Tudur-Jones (Hibernian) header from the right side of the six yard box is blocked.
Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Sammy Clingan.
Owain Tudur-Jones (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Craig Slater (Kilmarnock).
Substitution, Hibernian. Jason Cummings replaces Duncan Watmore.
Liam Craig (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card.
Hand ball by James Collins (Hibernian).