The 1925-26 season marked the completion of the competition for the Irwin Shield, which had been contested by the premiers and runners-up in the A grade finals over the previous five seasons.
Branxton won the final in 192.5-26, thereby giving that club and Northern Division two wins each. Average runs per wicket, for and against, over the five seasons were used to decide which club would retain the trophy permanently. The decision went in favour of Northern Division by 1.’2 runs per wicket. In the previous five seasons Northern Division had been premier or runner-up and had participated in every final for the Irwin Shield.
A new shield, donated by WF O’Hearn MLA, was awarded for the A grade premiership. The conditions of the award were that the team winning it twice in succession or three times in all would retain it. For the first season of its award, the shield was won by Northern Division.
At very short notice, the NSW CA offered the HRDCA a fixture against the touring New Zealand team. The offer was accepted and the match was played on January 11 and 12 1926 at the Showground. A Northern District team was selected from the Hunter Valley Cricket Council area: L Moore (capt.), F Cummins, G Bell, C Andrews, L Cook, RD Thrift, C Morrissey, C Cameron, J Lynch, J Cook and A Reynolds.
The match was a high scoring affair with 981 runs scored in the two days. NZ made 681 with Cecil Dacre scoring 218, C Crawford 121 and K Jones 92. After a shaky start Northern District hit up a creditable 300. A feature of the Northern District innings was a partnership of 157 between Leon Moore, the oldest cricketer playing first grade in Maitland, and his nephew Frank Cummins, one of the youngest players in Maitland. Leon Moore made 54 and Frank Cummins 118. Unfortunately the match was poorly attended by the public and the Association lost €60 on the fixture.
For Country Week, Northern District no longer included Newcastle and Wyong which were placed in a separate group of their own. The Association representatives were F Cummins, G Matthews, A Newman, H Hatcher and W Moore. Cummins was again in good form, averaging 71 for the Carnival and being chosen in the Country No. 1 team. Shortly afterwards he was selected to play for NSW against Queensland, but was unable to make the trip because of a last minute injury.