1939-40 season was ushered in against the ominous background of the outbreak of World War 2.
The war was to have a marked effect on the Association's competitions with the number of entries dropping from 31 to 23. For the first time for almost twenty years, the number of registered players also fell below 500 to 411.
With the Cessnock Association again running its own First-grade competition, the Cessnock Club entry dropped out of A grade. However, Weston was granted permission to remain in the Hunter River competition.
Weston took full advantage of its opportunity and won the A grade by a wide margin from Marist Brothers. Its players figured prominently in the district batting and bowling averages. Bert Squires, a hard-hitting batsman, headed the batting aggregate and averages with 748 runs at 53.43 including three centuries. Dave Roach was the district's leading wicket-taker with 67 wickets, and Clem Hill, the Weston captain, and former State player finished on top of the bowling averages with 57 wickets at 8.87.
For Marist Brothers, Frank Coffey repeated his 1937-38 performance by again scoring 500 runs and taking 50 wickets in a season. He eclipsed his 1937-38 figures of 512 runs and 54 wickets with 574 runs and 55 wickets. He thereby became the only Association player up to that stage to have twice registered the double. As he had also scored 669 runs in 1938-39, he had made over 500 runs in three consecutive seasons - an outstanding effort!
In addition to D Roach, C Hill, and F Coffey, three other players took more than 50 wickets in A grade - Ross Macmillan(Robins) 56; Norm Mudd(Northern Division) 53; and Athol D'Ombrain(Northern Division) 52. In one match against East Maitland, Norm Mudd, a promising fast bowler, took a haul of 16 wickets, with 8- 42 in the first and 8-62 in the second innings.
Mick Hinman, the outstanding player of the previous season, transferred to Stock-ton, where he ended up the leading wicket-taker in Newcastle first grade with 69 wickets at 10.81.
The B grade was won by Mulbring which posted a number of very high scores during the season. In one match against East Branxton, they scored 5 for 454 (B Osland 184 n.o.), and in another against Weston 4 for 582 (B Osland 182 and C Reynolds 163 n.o.).
The C grade competition was won by CYMS, a new entry in the Association's competition, which took over a wicket at Maitland Park, formerly used by West End.
The season saw a number of important rule changes. A new point score was introduced with 10 points for an outright and 7 for a first innings win. A limit was placed on the batting in two-day matches - a team which batted all the first afternoon could not continue on the second day as had been possible previously. The new LBW rule providing for a batsman to be given out to a ball pitching outside the off stump was also adopted.
The Umpires Association was asked to help put a stop to the practice of players smoking on the field. Because of the international situation, Country week was abandoned. The only representative matches to be played were a match against Gloucester and a match for B grade players against the Paterson and Allyn River Association.