I have a mantra when it comes to competition.

“Win with grace, lose with grace.”

It applies to the world of work and sport (though not if your name is Brian Moore) and even shooting.

Not six days ago, me and a couple of fellows did a spot of clay pigeon shooting during a friend’s stag weekend in Blackpool.

We were all fresh from a good night’s sleep and the icy gusts from the Irish Sea certainly kept us alert.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, despite my superior experience, I didn’t win the competition at the end of the day.

I lost by some way in fact.

In my darkest hours since I have been tempted to draw the conclusion that the rascals must have a) had lessons before hand b) have military experience, or c) telepathically fiddled with the shotgun, a beautiful Winchester, when it was my turn to use it.  

Thankfully, I didn’t launch into a massive strop because they had, in

fact, shot better than I did and deserved a higher ranking. Accepted defeat I have, and I will live with it. 

The boys have expressed an interest in a simulated day in the summer months. If I shoot poorly there, just before the season is about to begin it will be an irremovable stain on my career.

On last night’s episode of The Apprentice, some of the lad’s team were shining shoes at Kings Cross St Pancras station. They all look like bad losers to me, but if I repeat my Blackpool show, they’ll have competition on the platform when they get fired!