Promising all-rounder Michael Beard played a starring role with bat and ball to inspire Oxfordshire Under 15s to a 15-run victory over Wiltshire in their opening ECB County Cup fixture of the season at Stonesfield.

Beard fell one short of a half century, then claimed 4-45 as Oxfordshire played to their full potential against strong opposition.

Oxon won the toss and elected to bat, and an opening stand of 44 between Sam Ryan and Lloyd Sabin got them off to a good start.

Harry Smith and man-of-the-match Beard maintained the momentum.

When Beard fell for 49, a hard-hitting innings from Jonathan Bourchier, who scored 30, took Oxon's total to a respectable 200-7.

In reply, Wiltshire were soon on the back foot, due to Beard's fine opening spell.

He took three wickets in his first five overs, aided by some good slip-catching from Harry Smith.

Richard Cook chipped in with 2-33, before Wiltshire began to rebuild their innings.

However, the introduction of Jack Simpson, who claimed two important wickets, enabled Oxon to make further inroads, with Beard leading the way.