For the 1920-21 season the Association decided to run the competitions in A, B and C grades. A high number of entries was received with six in A grade, eight in B and ten in C. By the end of the season the total number of registered players reached 503.
New entries in the senior grade were Marist Brothers, Morpeth and Brunkerville, while Kurri Kurri and East Maitland Literary Institute dropped out. In its first season in A grade Marist Brothers won the competition by one point from Robins.
Among new club entries for B and C grades were teams from Wallalong, Raymond Terrace, Buttai and Hunter Water Board Employees. The B and C grades were won by Raymond Terrace and Mulbring respectively.
At the start of the season Mr G Brazier offered a bat for the highest individual score made in any competition match on the new turf wicket at Robins Oval. This was won by Roy Loder of the Robins Club.
After lengthy and difficult negotiations with the Hunter River A & H Association, the cricket Association was able to use the old Albion wicket for the first time for over five years.
An extensive program of inter-district matches was arranged, including fixtures against Newcastle, the Manning River and Gloucester Associations. There were also two matches against Sydney teams and at Easter a match against a strong NSW CA team, captained by BJ Folkard and including H Pratten, H Cranney, R Bardsley, W Brown and J Kendall. In the Easter match the NSWCA team scored 478 to the HRDCA’s 171, with Frank McMullen top-scoring for the locals with 59. Frank Iredale, Secretary of the NSWCA, was manager of the NSWCA team, and in a letter to the Sydney Evening News he later wrote: “We played our match on the Albion ground, just as we did years ago. But the ground and wicket are not as good as in the old days. I saw no player of the calibre of the Moores – Billy and Leon – Bob Lindsay and the Waddys”.
One local player to achieve a high representative honour during the season was Edward K Brown of the
Morpeth Club, who was selected to play for NSW 23
against Queensland. John Lintott, the HRDCA Secretary, had written to Frank Iredale bringing attention to Brown’s performances. At the time of his selection in early February he had already scored 101() runs for 15 completed innings and taken over 40 wickets. He had also hit three successive centuries on the Albion ground – 129 against Brunkerville, 119 retired against a Sydney team at Christmas and 184 n.(). against the Manning DCA. Brown’s selection obviously showed the value of regular visits from Metropolitan teams to the district. Unfortunately he was lost to Maitland cricket when he moved to Sydney at the end of the season.
During the season the Association was upset to learn that the Newcastle DCA had decided to restrict the team to play JWHT Douglas’s MCC side in Newcastle entirely to Newcastle players. The decision was considered to be “a most selfish action” on the part of the NDCA and contrary to the selection policy that had prevailed prior to World War 1. Following a protest, the NDCA was prepared to allow two representatives from the HRDCA, provided that the local competition was cancelled on the Saturday of the match. This offer was severely criticised as “the most grudging offer ever made” and was accepted on a bare majority vote. Leon Moore and Edward K Brown were selected but as it turned out, the match was abandoned because of very heavy rain in the days prior to the fixture.
Two notable developments at the Annual Meeting were that the Secretary was granted an honorarium of five pounds and a suggestion was made about the formation of a local Umpires Association.