With such strong cricket foundations already laid, the idea began to grow in the late 1880s that the time had come for the formation of an Association in the Maitland district. Some forward thinkers had the vision to see that a central controlling body would be of benefit “for the more complete control, encouragement and general management of clubs in the district”.

This led to the formation in July 1889 of the Hunter River Cricket Association. Mr Harry Capper was elected as its first President, and six clubs – Albion, Pearl, Dungog, Greta, Oakhampton and Northumberland – affiliated with it in the initial season.

However, the move turned out to be premature for this Association – the forerunner of the Hunter River District Cricket Association – was to have a short-lived existence. At its first Annual General Meeting in September 1890 the Association reported that it “had not received the support anticipated from clubs in the district” and during the 1892-93 season it faded out of existence.