Rugby Union continues to be a sport that cherishes and embarrasses its brightest prospects in equal measure, both rewarding their audacity and punishing their naivety.
So it was at Meadow Lane where some of the Championship’s most promising youngsters received another harsh lesson in life outside the Guinness A league.
For Moseley Jonny May, Tristan Roberts and Dan Williams each had afternoons to both forget and remember as their side slipped to a fifth consecutive defeat and relinquished their cushion on the sides in the bottom four.
And for Nottingham the splendidly monickered Billy Twelvetrees showed why he is capable of winning Heineken Cup matches one week and being sent to Nottingham on loan the next.
The 21-year-old scored two tries, the first of stunning quality, and was a constant danger to the visitors whenever he caught the ball.
Luckily for Moseley the outside centre did not manage that feat on a consistent basis, had he done so the hosts might have merited the margin of victory that was otherwise a tad fortuitous.
But if Twelvetrees’ performance was consistently inconsistent, poor May endured an unhappy game, punctuated by the silken breaks that have become his trademark.
Let’s be clear, the Gloucester centre posed the home defence many questions with his ability to step out of tackles and keep the ball alive.
But he also botched one of the simplest try scoring chances with which he’ll be presented all year.
With Moseley trailing 18-15, a quarter of an hour into the second half, Roberts’ cross-field kick sat up invitingly for May to collect and stroll over.
In the end he seemed utterly bemused by his task and barely got a hand on the ball. It proved to be a costly error.
As was the one that allowed Twelvetrees to slip through his tackle in the 80th minute to give Nottingham an ill-deserved try bonus.
Neil Mason’s words of consolation will have had little effect on the teenager.
Roberts had done something similar 20 minutes earlier when he allowed Tim Taylor out of his grasp as the fly half put Ben Johnstone over.
Had both Roberts made his tackle and May his and also taken his try, Moseley would have won.
At least they managed to get off the pitch in one piece, poor Williams ended his first appearance in Red and Black since early October on crutches with an ankle injury.
But Moseley didn’t win and though they showed more ambition than at any stage for the last month, they now hover just one point above the relegation play off places.
With Doncaster, Coventry and Plymouth to play in the next three weeks, the hour has cometh.
With Nathan Williams fit again, James Rodwell to return and Justin Mensah-Coker emerging as one of the most consistent players in the squad, there is still much to be hopeful about for Moseley.
Especially now they have rediscovered some of their enterprise, though in truth they should have converted at least some of the pressure they exerted in an outstanding opening to the second half.
But rugby doesn’t work like that, a sport where being young and prodigiously talented is not everything.
NOTTINGHAM: Vesty; Cobden (Casson 67), Twelvetrees, Johnston, Streather; Taylor T, White (Usasz 22); Parr (Buxton 54), Youngs, Du Plessis, Green, Rouse (Nimmo 75), Hammond, Sherriff, Hemmingway. Replacements: Tonks, Sammons, Baird
MOSELEY: Borgen; Bressington, May, Reay, Mensah-Coker; Roberts, Taylor G (Williams A 58); Sigley (Williams N 50), Caves (Oselton 75), Harden, Muldowney, Stott (Hall 61), Mason, Pennycook, Williams D (Wilson 38). Replacements: Rowland, MacBurnie
Referee: Chris Sharp