Results elsewhere sealed Burnley’s fate and the afternoon’s action may also have terrible consequences for Hull, who now find themselves two points from safety, with a pair of tough fixtures left to play.
The hosts could have few complaints after a somewhat insipid display considering the magnitude of the occasion, although they will count themselves unfortunate that the luckless Robbie Brady twice hit the bar with fine free-kicks.
Chances were few and far during a nervy opening 20 minutes at the KC Stadium, but things picked up when Brady produced a lovely cross from the left and Ahmed Elmohamady headed over the bar at the back post in a promising position.
Brady was easily Hull’s best performer in the opening half and he then sent over a corner which was glanced narrowly over the bar by a combination of Paul McShane and Dame N’Doye.
Ashley Barnes had a pair of opportunities at the other end either side of that Hull chance, nodding a David Jones corner over the bar under pressure from a defender before drawing a decent save from Steve Harper with a downward header from Matty Taylor’s cross.
Brady was then extremely unlucky not to put Hull in front, whipping a delightful left-footed free-kick over the defensive wall, but looked on in despair as it hit the top of the bar and stayed out.
Burnley needed a win to have any hope of avoiding relegation and were the better side at the start of the second-half; Barnes failing to get enough on a delightful Taylor cross and glancing a lunging header well wide.
An inspired Ings then charged into the penalty area and appeared to be tripped as a pair of defenders converged on him, but referee Martin Atkinson declined to point to the spot.
However, the visitors got the breakthrough on the 62nd-minute corner with Hull defender Michael Dawson on the sidelines having been sent to get treatment as blood was coming from his nose.
Burnley profited from Dawson’s absence when Ben Mee sent the ball back into the box following Elmohamady’s attempted clearing header and Ings reacted superbly, turning sharply and firing the ball into the net from the edge of the six-yard box.
Hull responded and sub Abel Hernandez drew a save from Tom Heaton with a clever back-heel from close range, while Barnes had a goal disallowed at the other end for barging into Harper.
Brady then produced another glorious free-kick and this one was even closer, crashing against the angle of post and bar before bouncing away.
Hull then piled forward in the closing stages but struggled to create chances against a packed Burnley defence.
A Tom Huddlestone cross looked set to sneak into the corner of the net but Heaton threw up a hand at the last moment to parry the ball clear.
But the efforts of Ings and Heaton were not enough to save the Clarets from dropping back down to the Championship.
As for Hull, they now face a daunting trip to Tottenham before hosting Manchester United, and will need to pull off a shock in one of those fixtures if they are not to follow Burnley into the second tier.
Soccer Saturday verdict – Paul Merson:
“Burnley defended so well. The two at the back, Shackell and Duff, headed everything out of the box. If they had defended like that every week, I think they would have been all right.
“It was a good finish from Danny Ings and I am sure he will be playing for someone in the Premier League next season. I also thought he should have had a penalty and so, even though Hull dominated, Burnley won 1-0 and could have had a penalty, so it was not a snatch-and-grab. Burnley gave as good as they got.
“Hull will be kicking themselves. I think they are in big trouble now, that was a shocking result. But Tottenham were terrible today, so who is to say they cannot go there and win?”
Hull: Harper (7), Chester (6), Dawson (6), McShane (6), Elmohamady (7), Huddlestone (6), Livermore (5), Brady (8), Quinn (5), Aluko (5), N’Doye (5)
Subs: Meyler (6), Hernandez (6), Jelavic (6)
Burnley: Heaton (8), Trippier (7), Duff (7), Shackell (7), Mee (6), Jones (6), Arfield (6), Boyd (6), Taylor (6), Barnes (6), Ings (8)
Subs: Keane (6), Ward (6)
Man of the Match: Danny Ings