In the 1948-49 season, the number of registered players reached 1107 - exceeding 1000 for the first time in the Association's history.
The major increase was in the number of teams in the club section with 12 in B grade and 22 in C grade - an overall increase of 10 teams.
Central's first grade repeated Northern District's performance of the previous season by being undefeated and winning both the Premiership and the final. Its main strength was in the slow bowling combination of Hinman with 45 wickets and Ross Macmi11an with 44 wickets. Central also won the club championship and thereby become holders of the Tranter Cup, a new trophy donated by Fred Tranter.
Western Suburbs had its first district success by winning both the second-grade premiership and final. Raymond Terrace had some success in third grade by winning the final against Western Suburbs.
In the club section, Karuah won the B grade by defeating Paterson, and United Stars won the C grade by defeating Black Hill.
The only batsman in first grade to pass 500 runs was Alan Johnston of Northern District with 538 runs. Leading wicket-takers were Bill Miller r.weston) with 49 wickets and Norm Mudd (Northern District) with 46.
Two remarkable individual efforts in first grade were by J Seddon of Weston who stumped 7 batsmen off A Tweddle's bowling in a match against Western Suburbs at Weston, and B Whipp of Western Suburbs who in an innings of 81 against Branxton hit 8 sixes, of which 6 were off successive deliveries.
At Country Week Hunter River was strongly represented with C Johnston (capt.), M Hinman, M Callaghan, N Mudd, A Johnston, G Wolstenholme, C Bridge and K Smith. The team performed very creditably and was unlucky not to win the Carnival. Prior to the last match, the team was undefeated and ahead on averages, but their final match was washed out while Newcastle played and gained a first innings win. Despite a number of outstanding individual performances, not one Hunter Valley player was selected in the Combined Country team.
Although unavailable for the Combined Country match, Mick Hinman was selected later to play for NSW Second XI against Victoria.
The John Bull Shield competition was condensed into matches over a four day period at Christmas / New Year and another round of matches on Anniversary Weekend. However, Hunter River had a disappointing series and forfeited to Upper Hunter in the final match. A sad note during the season was Keith Smith's loss of his left forearm, following an industrial accident shortly after his return from Country Week. However, it was not to be the end of Keith's cricket career - next season he was to make a courageous comeback to first-grade cricket.
After a lapse of some fourteen years since its completion, the Sportsground finally came into use as a cricket oval. Work on the project went back to the Depression days of the early 1930s, but there had been a long delay in the construction of a turf wicket on the oval. The first match played there was between Western Suburbs and Branxton first grade on October 30, 1948. Ray Allen of Eastern Suburbs scored the first and only century of the season on the wicket against Western Suburbs, which used the oval for a number of seasons as their home ground.
Potentially the Sportsground had a lot to offer. However, the outfield and wicket did not come up to expectations and fell a long way short of the old Albion ground at the Showground. Lacking a full-time groundsman, the Sportsground never reached its cricket potential, and today does not even have a turf wicket.
During the season the Umpires Association made a determined effort to boost its numbers. The move met with some success with about 30 regular umpires available for appointment. Though hardly an incentive, umpires' fees were increased from 5/6 to 7/6 an afternoon.
At the Annual Meeting Frank McMahon, who had been a "very capable and tireless Secretary" of the HRDCA since 1938-39, retired. Claude March, who had been involved with the Association since 1920, also announced his retirement.