Burnley made sure Kevin Long’s homecoming was a happy one as they cruised to their first pre-season victory with a sure-fire display against Cork City.
Irish defender Long was given a terrific reception on the ground he graced four years ago before his move to Turf Moor.
But it was striker Danny Ings who stole the show for Sean Dyche’s side, opening the scoring in the fifth minute with a classy strike and capping an impressive display with a hand in the second, scored by trialist Scott Arfield early in the second half.
And a good night’s work was rounded off by second half substitute Keith Treacy, who rifled home an 85th minute drive that Sam Vokes later claimed he deflected home, but either way sent a couple of hundred travelling Burnley fans in the 893 crowd home happy.
Ings was partnered in attack by Charlie Austin, starting his first pre-season game following his return to the club after the heartbreak of seeing his Premier League move to Hull dashed.
And as manager Sean Dyche stuck to his plan of rotating players, there was a start for Steven Hewitt alongside Brian Stock, who recovered form a virus to take his place in the line-up.
There was also place on the bench for former Wigan Athletic, Blackburn Rovers and Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder David Jones: the free agent linking-up with the Clarets at their pre-season training camp after leaving the JJB in the summer.
The Clarets kicked off immediately on the front foot, and it was a moment of brilliance from Ings after only five minutes that opened the scoring.
Kieran Trippier and Austin combined on the right to feed Ross Wallace, whose clipped cross was controlled in a flash by Ings with the right foot and immediately lashed home on the turn with the left for a stunning six-yard finish.
Soon, Austin had his first chance to open his account, but his firm header from Trippier’s curling cross lacked the accuracy to trouble City keeper Kevin Burns.
Ben Mee, so often in the wars, started at left back but lasted just 20 minutes after a clash that saw him replaced by Danny Lafferty.
But with Burnley enjoying the bulk of possession, it was a rare Cork foray upfield that forced the change.
And when normal service was resumed and Wallace took aim and let fly in trademark fashion from 25 yards midway through the half, it took a superb flying save from Burns to deny the Scot.
And Burns was again called on just after the half hour when Austin clipped the ball goalwards after Long had headed a Wallace corner back into the mix.
It took Cork 37 minutes to register their first corner when Heaton – almost a bystander – dived but failed to keep Lafferty’s back header in play.
And City really should have tested the underworked Clarets’ summer signing minutes later when the unmarked Stephen Kenny headed John Kavanagh’s deep cross back across goal but wide.
However, livewire Ings continued to be a thorn in the Rebel Army’s side – and four minutes before the break his quick feet and spins created the opening for a shot that Burns was equal to.
Four changes at the break saw Alex Cisak, Michael Duff, Keith Treacy and Sam Vokes replace Heaton, Jason Shackell, Stock and Austin.
And straight from the re-start Arfield, given an extended run-out, was close to doubling the lead with a rising long-range effort.
However, Arfield got his angles perfectly in the 58th
minute to cap a fine move and ease the Clarets further ahead.
Ings began the move with a penetrating run deep into enemy territory, only to be forced wide. Eventually he cut the ball back to Wallace, who picked out Arfield’s run with a slide-rule pass that the on-trial midfielder coolly slotted home.
Treacy almost made it three in the 71st minute, finding acres of space on the right and seeing his chip over stranded keeper Burns land agonisingly on the roof of the net.
And somehow Burns denied Ings a glorious goal when the Clarets striker weaved his way through the defence with his last classy piece of action of the night, only to be denied by the keeper’s trailing leg.
Immediately, Ings made way for free agent Jones, who is in Ireland as Dyche takes a closer look at the former England U21 midfielder.
As the clock ticked down, Long received rapturous applause from the appreciative Turner’s Cross crowd as he made way for Alex Coleman with six minutes remaining.
And there was just enough time for the combination of Treacy and Vokes to to put the icing on the cake, as they were left arguing over who got the final touch to the Irishman's fierce 85th minute drive into the top corner.
BURNLEY: Heaton (Cisak 46), Trippier (O’Neill 64), Long (Coleman 84), Shackell (Duff 46), Mee (Lafferty 20), Stock (Treacy 46), Hewitt, Wallace (Porter 64), Arfield, Ings (Jones 75), Austin (Vokes 46).
CORK (starting): Burns, Kavanagh, Eoghan Murphy, Murray, Rundle, Furlong, Lenihan, O’Connell, Kenny, Lehane, Behan.
Subs: Turner, Danny Murphy, Darren Murphy, Abbottt, Dunleavy, Spillane, Buckley, Browne