Kilmarnock comfortably saw off bitter rivals Ayr United at Rugby Park to go straight to the top of the Championship.

The two sides hadn't met in the league for 28 years, but Tommy Wright 's side's relegation saw them renew hostilities.

The Honest Men put up a stubborn resilience in the first half, but Liam Polworth broke the deadlock to send the home fans wild.

And Innes Cameron made sure of the points with a late penalty to send his boyhood team top on goal difference.

Circa 3,700 home fans were greeted by an unfamiliar teams, following a summer of change at Rugby Park.

Only Chris Burke and Brandon Haunstrup started for Killie of the team that was relegated last season, while the visitors went with the same XI which beat Hamilton last time out.

It was Tommy Wright's side who applied the early pressure, with a penalty shout rightly waved away when the ball struck Sean McGinty.

Though Burke's effort did hit the Ayr defender on the hand, it was firmly by his side and the home side's appeals were in vain.

Innes Cameron drew a smart stop from Charlie Albinson, and the effervescent Burke saw his left-footed effort sizzle past the far post.

Ayr had been under the cosh for much of the first half, but Euan Murray had to make a timely intervention five minutes before the break to deny Tomi Adeloye.

And Jason Naismith risked giving away a penalty as he wrapped his arms round his man, with the full-back relieved when Don Robertson waved away the appeals.

Cameron should have broken the deadlock five minutes after the break but the young striker somehow contrived to head wide from six yards after a brilliant cross from Burke.

The striker saw another good chance go begging but the goal was coming, and it duly arrived shortly thereafter.

As ever it was Burke who was Ayr's tormenter, the winger jinking this way and that to open up the defence.

Alston looked to get a finishing touch but clattered in to a defender, only for Polworth to arrive and apply the most emphatic of finishes.

Ayr threw on Jonathan Afolabi, signed from Celtic earlier on Monday, as well as exciting Irish winger Daire O'Connor.

The latter gave Naismith plenty to think about, carving out a half-chance with his pacy and direct running.

Cameron could have sealed it with 15 minutes to play, but once again he failed to convert with a close-range header as his downward effort was gathered by Albinson.

The youngster didn't let his head drop though, and was unlucky to see a right-footed shot go just the wrong side of the far post after a clever turn.

And Cameron did finally get his goal late on, though arguably the penalty awarded was controversial as the ball hit Jack Baird in the chest.

The defender's arm was out, and Don Robertson clearly felt in real time that it had hit his limb.

It wasn't a penalty but Cameron stepped up to emphatically smash the ball home and ensure the three points.

3 talking points

Ageless Burke

He may be 37 but Chris Burke was the best player on the park on a balmy Ayrshire evening.

The winger's delivery from set pieces had the Ayr defence under siege, and from open play he could have provided Cameron with a hat-trick.

It was Burke who opened up a stubborn defence for Polworth's opener, and despite his age the former Rangers man still has a turn of pace.

It's a long season and father time is stalking, but on this evidence the veteran will fill his boots in the Championship.

Ayr can be optimistic

They were second best for much of this contest, but there were plenty of positives for Ayr to take.

While Killie had plenty of pressure they struggled to break down an organised defence, and Albinson in the goal was equal to most efforts when they did.

When a spark was needed David Hopkin sent for Daire O'Connor and the Irishman looks like he could be a real find.

His skill and pace put Killie on the back foot whenever he got the ball, and based on this showing there isn't a full-back in the league who'll want to face him.

Persistance pays off

In many ways it was a tough night at the office for 20-year-old Innes Cameron.

His movement doesn't always look like that of a natural poacher, and he missed an absolute sitter that should have given his side the lead.

The young man didn't let it get him down though and kept plugging away, causing the Ayr defence issues with his physicality and work rate.

His goal may have come from the spot but it was an emphatic finish and deserved for his all-round contribution.