There was serious doubt at the start of the 1902-03 season about whether the Association would continue.
The deterioration in the local cricket scene was shown by the failure of the Association to hold its usual Annual General Meeting. A letter to the editor of the Mercury by “Cricketer” summed up the situation: ” … cricket has fallen like a log of wood, and it occurs to me that unless our cricket enthusiasts wake up and shake off the languid feeling which exists cricket will be a thing of the past in this district”.
Eventually a belated competition did get under way (apparently organised by the previous executive committee). There was a junior competition with 12 teams including a number of entries from the coalfields region – East Greta, Mt Vincent and Belvidere – and a team from the local band called the Federal Band. However, it was later reported that “almost the whole of the matches were played irregularly”.
The senior competition was abandoned “owing to the lack of interest shown by cricketers”. Former senior players were allowed to play in the junior competition, though this caused some dissension. Frustrated by the lack of senior competition, the Albion Club applied to the Newcastle DCA for permission to play in their competition but the application was rejected. Almost like an inauspicious sign of what lay ahead, the Albion Club’s horse “so kindly lent to the Club by Mr Rourke” to be used by the caretaker to look after the wicket and ground, died during the winter.