In 1874 matches were arranged with Crewe, Congleton and Stockport consisting of 20 players a side. Only some years later were the Laws amended to make it todays 15 a side game. The first game to be played under the Rugby rules of football took place on the Boughley Lane Ground, on 14th January, 1874. Since Boughley Lane later became known as Bowfield Lane and eventually Victoria Road this first game probably took place on the ground currently occupied by the Macclesfield Cricket Club.
That first game saw a team under the command of H. Frogatt playing the 8th Cheshire Rifle Volunteers (CRVs) Athletic Club. Local ‘match rules’ specifically stated that “hacking ” and “tripping ” were allowed. The next game was another ‘local friendly’ between the 8th CRV’S and Captain Brocklehurst’s Troop of Yeomanry. The game was a long one, lasting from 3-15 to 5-30 p.m., hopefully not because of any on-field trouble.