TOM HEMINGWAY added to Bulldogs boss John Kearâ€™s half-back selection headache, bagging 32 points to help whitewash Gateshead 72-0.
Hemingway, who has provided superb cover for the injured Gareth Moore since the start of the season, partnered the
former Super League player during Batleyâ€™s Challenge Cup rout.
And with Australian Ben Black rested â€“ the man who has operated alongside Hemingway since January â€“ this was his moment to shine once again following successive man-of-the-match performances at Mount Pleasant.
And shine he did, converting all 12 of the Bulldogsâ€™ tries, two of which he scored himself as the hosts got off to a lightning start.
The ex-Featherstone Rover most definitely staked his claim to remain in contention despite the return to action of Moore, who has recovered from shoulder surgery which sidelined him for four months, as Batley racked up over 70 points in a totally one-sided round three tie.
A jinking Miles Greenwood run handed Greg Johnson an ideal platform to open the scoring and quick play-the-ball did the rest, Johnny Campbell racing away to touch down.
Hooker George Flanagan played Hemingway into space shortly after, the scrum-half adding extras to his own score.
Ash Lindsay was next across the whitewash, the back-rowerâ€™s brute strength taking him through three Thunder defenders.
Returning Moore, also desperate to prove a point, orchestrated the next score as centre Danny Maun claimed the first of a two-try haul.
Visitors Gateshead had a response cruelly ruled out by referee Ronnie Laughton, Jacob Blades the would-be scorer.
And matters soon worsened for the North East outfit.
An offload fell into the grateful grasp of Bulldog Ayden Faal, who grabbed the final try of the first half to make it 30-0.
Maunâ€™s second came just minutes after the interval, before front-rower Alex Rowe crashed through for Hemingway to complete his double.
Within minutes, the Bulldogs were in again. This time Greenwood made the break and found Moore in support to finish, Hemingwayâ€™s conversion putting the hosts 48 points clear.
Kearâ€™s men broke the half-century mark as Jason Walton, Moore and Maun combined to send Campbell over.
Late scores courtesy of Moore, Flanagan and Johnson only added to the away sideâ€™s misery, the Bulldogs advancing in some style.